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ha1264
05-27-2007, 06:08 PM
We are here now. Arrived 5-24 leaving out 5-31. The weather is great people are nice but the dining plan is a drag. Everything is BOOKED! This is our 2nd trip. Went last October maybe we got spolied only missed The spirit meal thing. This time I think we are going to have a few sit down meals left. Maybe it's my fault for not making ADR's months in advance. I just can't do that. We do have a small stradegy to attack the parks but I can't plan my meals months in advance. It's a great deal money wise but having to plan your day around a meal doesn't make since to me. We even tried to go at odd times. It seems the other 200,000 people did the same. The counter service in the parks is a 2hr ordeal. Will come back becuase we like it here but will never use the plan again. Sorry to send so many negatives waves but I had to vent. Thanks, for letting me.

tinawv
05-27-2007, 06:35 PM
I am sorry that you didn't get into any of the restaruants that you wanted, but going to WDW without advanced dining reservations during moderate or high crowd season is like winning the lottery - one in 7 million chance that you will win. :lmao: Seriously, to make the most of your dining plan one most take advantage of making advanced dinner reservations. This is even necessary during the low crowd season. If you don't, then it is just hit or miss as to whether you will be able to get dinner reservations once you get there. Unlikely you won't. If I was really wanting to eat at certain restaraunts during my stay at WDW, I wouldn't dream of trying to get reservations by just walking in at anytime.

TDC Nala
05-27-2007, 06:48 PM
Even if you go without the plan you'll still have to get advance reservations for table service meals - because practically everybody else is using the plan. But at least you won't lose your credits if you can't get in.

DiszyDean
05-27-2007, 06:52 PM
I am not sure what the dining plan had to do with your problems. You failed to plan and therefore planned to fail. It doesn't seem like it was a lack of knowledge on your part that you should make ADRs. You just chose not to. Had you been on the dining plan or not, you would have still faced the same issues without reservations.

SummerIrmoma2_3
05-27-2007, 06:57 PM
What a bummer. Have you tried to make an ADR while you are there? I am a little surprised since I am leaving tomorrow and was still making ADRs about a week ago and got pretty much every ADR I wanted just at odd times which wasn't a problem for us as we tend to combine our meals on vactaion anyway (late breakfast/ early lunch followed by a late lunch/ early dinner than maybe a late night snack if we are hungry again). The only thing I didn't get was CRT and that was because they only had a 9:15pm and that was to late for my little ones so what would be the point?
I hope your luck turns around and I hope the weather stays nice ;)

Cdn Friends of Pooh
05-27-2007, 07:11 PM
We just got back on Wednesday and only booked a few ADRs a few weeks before we left. When we tried booking our ADRs we got everything we wanted. While we were there we tried several table service meals (LTT, Mama Melrose) without any reservations and were never turned away and never had to wait more than 5 minutes for a table. :confused3

lisajl
05-27-2007, 07:13 PM
My DH always asked me why I made ressies so far in advance..we don't know where we will want to eat.
I just told him, we want to eat...so make a ressie.

While we were there (2005) all the people that walked up to get dinner with no ressies were turned away.
I know it's no fun to make them far in advance, but I like at least one sit down dinner.

eeyoresnr
05-27-2007, 07:16 PM
maybe you are trying to eat during peak times..try waiting a little bit later

scanne
05-27-2007, 07:22 PM
I agree with the above poster. If you head to a sit down restaurant before peak meal times, there is a better chance of getting a table. We always eat a light meal in the room for breakfast, then either have a big lunch and light dinner or reverse it. But we do make our dining ressies at the 180 day mark. I figure it's easier to cancel something than to find something open at the last minute.

We don't use the dining plan. For us it just seems like entirely too much food. And my DH tend to share meals a lot. Plus, we're not appetizer eaters and only get one or two desserts at dinner. We like our Mickey Bars and Dole Whips.

doconeill
05-27-2007, 07:27 PM
It is perhaps a shock to someone who doesn't visit WDW all the time and hasn't been in a few years how different things have gotten. Prior to DP, the only thing you really HAD to book in advance was CRT.

Then priority seating for shows happened, and certain other places became tougher to get without ADRs.

Now, with the DP, more people who otherwise would probably skip TS meals in favor of CS meals are using up all the TS restaurants. Gone is the day when you could simple walk in to a TS and be seated, unless it is at non-standard times.

This has been the chief complaint about the DP. However, it is getting people in to the restaurants which might otherwise go empty for portions of the day, and its seems to be doing well for Disney, so it seems to be unlikely that it will change any time soon.

It's just safest to assume you need to make ADRs as early as possible, when possible.

The Sweetness
05-27-2007, 07:33 PM
I am not sure what the dining plan had to do with your problems. You failed to plan and therefore planned to fail.

ITA :goodvibes

CR Resort Fan 4 Life
05-27-2007, 07:38 PM
Even if you go without the plan you'll still have to get advance reservations for table service meals - because practically everybody else is using the plan. But at least you won't lose your credits if you can't get in.Just because someone stays onsite and does not purchase the DDP, they don't have to make ADR's for every single day they are at WDW. What if they have a car and want to eat at some offsite restaurants, just like my family and I. We don't purchase the DDP and don't make ADR's at 180 days out because that is not our thing, so most of the time we eat at offsite restaurants. The only places onsite we eat our counter service locations and the Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney.

Also I said this before and I will say it again. Not every single restaurant in WDW is 100% booked for 365 days a year. I agree that the DDP has made things harder to get ADR's, but there is always a chance of last minute ADR's and walking-in to some restaurants.

MissMet
05-27-2007, 07:39 PM
I am sorry that you didn't get into any of the restaruants that you wanted, but going to WDW without advanced dining reservations during moderate or high crowd season is like winning the lottery - one in 7 million chance that you will win. :lmao: Seriously, to make the most of your dining plan one most take advantage of making advanced dinner reservations. This is even necessary during the low crowd season. If you don't, then it is just hit or miss as to whether you will be able to get dinner reservations once you get there. Unlikely you won't. If I was really wanting to eat at certain restaraunts during my stay at WDW, I wouldn't dream of trying to get reservations by just walking in at anytime.

so true, but talk about rubbing salt in the wound! :lmao:

LorilieMarie
05-27-2007, 07:43 PM
I don't plan my days around my reservations, I plan my reservations around my days. First you have to look at the calendar to see what days have extra magic hours, if you know you will be there that day, book a res for that day. If you want a free day, book it somewhere more Central (like a resort inbetween the parks) and make them for late so you know you will be tired and hungry from whatever park you chose to go to. The worse thing that can happen is you decide not to make your reservation. I hope you can go again and do it right:thumbsup2

labdogs42
05-27-2007, 07:44 PM
As for counter service being a 2 hour ordeal, have you tried eating at 11:30 am? I always try to eat lunch early and it always works out great! Eat a light breakfast, early lunch and early dinner (before 6pm) and then have a snack during the parade or fireworks if you really need one. As for the dining plan, if you can't get TS ressies now, I guess they let you use your TS as CS if you want to. I don't know if the value is worth it, but it is better than losing those credits. Good luck to you! FYI, for future trips, you can always make the ADR's and cancel them if you decide not to go. Then at least you'd have them if you DID want to do a TS meal (dining plan or not).

doconeill
05-27-2007, 07:45 PM
Just because someone does not purchase the DDP, they don't have to make ADR's for every single day they are at WDW. What if they have a car and want to eat at some offsite restaurants, just like my family and I. We don't purchase the DDP and don't make ADR's at 180 days out because that is not our thing, so most of the time we eat at offsite restaurants. The only places onsite we eat our counter service locations and the Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney.

Also I said this before and I will say it again. Not every single restaurant in WDW is 100% booked for 365 days a year. I agree that the DDP has made things harder to get ADR's, but there is always a chance of last minute ADR's and walking-in to some restaurants.

I'm not 100% sure of the point you are trying to make in the first paragraph. We are talking about dining at TS restaurants on property. Yes, if you have transportation you have the option of eating off site if you choose, but that's not the point here. IF you want to eat at a TS restaurant at a particular time of day, you should make an ADR. If you don't want to eat at a TS restaurant at all, or want to take your chances, then you don't have to - just don't expect to be able to drop in at a TS restaurant and be seated quickly - or at all.

As for your second paragraph, yes, there is probably a TS somewhere that isn't 100% booked. It probably isn't the one you want, and it may not even be in the same area. But there is a chance, and you have to weigh your odds against how much you want to eat there.

The Sweetness
05-27-2007, 07:46 PM
We don't purchase the DDP and don't make ADR's at 180 days out because that is not our thing, so most of the time we eat at offsite restaurants.


:thumbsup2 Sounds more reasonable than expecting to get a table where they know that reservations are made 6 months out:confused3

CR Resort Fan 4 Life
05-27-2007, 07:49 PM
I'm not 100% sure of the point you are trying to make in the first paragraph. We are talking about dining at TS restaurants on property. Yes, if you have transportation you have the option of eating off site if you choose, but that's not the point here. IF you want to eat at a TS restaurant at a particular time of day, you should make an ADR. If you don't want to eat at a TS restaurant at all, or want to take your chances, then you don't have to - just don't expect to be able to drop in at a TS restaurant and be seated quickly - or at all.

As for your second paragraph, yes, there is probably a TS somewhere that isn't 100% booked. It probably isn't the one you want, and it may not even be in the same area. But there is a chance, and you have to weigh your odds against how much you want to eat there.What I meant was just because someone does not purchase the DDP if they are staying onsite, they are not forced to make ADR's for every single day if they don't want to. If you purchase the DDP you have no choice, but if you don't purchase it you can eat offsite if a family wants to do that.

maxiesmom
05-27-2007, 07:56 PM
If you can't bring yourself to make dining ressies, then you are risking losing your meal credits. I don't understand why you would do that. To me, it is worth the bother of making ADRs to ensure I have a sit down meal when I want it. Why would you risk throwing away money like that?

REL1203
05-27-2007, 07:58 PM
To the OP... I hate to say this, but its your fault for the problems. You knew of ADRs, and you knew how to make them, but YOU chose not to... This is your problem, not disneys, not anyone else, your problem. Had you not been on the DDP, you would still have had the same problem, but the fact that YOU choose not to made ADRs, YOU decided your own fate to risk it, and you paid for it. Had you not come in here and blamed others, i would have felt sorry for you, but honestly, now after reading your post, i soley blame you and your ignorance

doconeill
05-27-2007, 08:00 PM
What I meant was just because someone does not purchase the DDP if they are staying onsite, they are not forced to make ADR's for every single day if they don't want to. If you purchase the DDP you have no choice, but if you don't purchase it you can eat offsite if a family wants to do that.

We're not purchasing the DDP for either of our planned visits this year, but we still want to eat onsite - so we will be making ADRs (already have them for July, working on a battle plan for December). We won't make them for every day, but we have places we WANT to eat at, and because of DP we will make an ADR at each of them. Unfortunately we have to figure out what days where 6 months in advance in order to do this.

We tend to eat at less standard times anyways, but we still want to know that we CAN eat where we want.

Katiebell
05-27-2007, 08:01 PM
We were there 5/13-5/19. We made our ADR's about 12 weeks in advance, but I was able to change one just hours in advance (from Wolfgang Puck Cafe to Raglan Road). When we went to Epcot's Guest Services (I needed to check lost and found), they had a huge sign board indicating which TS restaurants were full, but more importantly, which ones had openings for that day. There were quite a few -- maybe not your first choices, but better than wasting those TS credits for which you've already paid. Try calling Guest Services to see what might be open, where, and when -- you might be surprised, and maybe you'll discover a hidden gem or two. We loved the Dining Plan -- it worked beautifully for us, sorry you are having such a problem with it. But as previous posters have mentioned, you chose not to make ADR's, and also whether or not you were on the Dining Plan, you wouldn't be able to walk in to most of the TS restaurants, anyway. It's getting that way at Disneyland, and they don't even have a dining plan :confused3

We also had fabulous CS at Tusker House (AK, I had salmon, DH had the turkey wrap and corn chowder), Tangierine (Epcot WS, shared a lamb and chicken sharwarma platter) and Sunshine Seasons (Epcot, the Land, I had rotisserie chicken and DH had chicken caesar salad), Wolfgang Puck Express (DTD Marketplace, I had a Cobb Salad and DH had some kind of flatbread sandwich that he said was very good), and I had an excellent tuna sandwich at Columbia Harbor House (MK). That was just a week ago, and none of those CS places was a "2 hour ordeal" -- most of them were a walk up, with just a few people in front of us. Even the Pop food court wasn't too crowded, and we stopped in to Cosmic Ray's at about 11:30 am just to see Sonny Eclipse for a minute, but could easily and quickly ordered food if we'd been hungry. The only one that was an ordeal was the Cantina, because it was 20 minutes before Illuminations, there were a million people in line, and some rude woman -- who was NOT on the DDP -- asked for detailed descriptions of everything on the menu (as if it wasn't all written out for her to read before she got up there to order) and kept asking repeatedly why they didn't serve tostadas ("You know, those flat crispy things, with the beans and cheese and lettuce and stuff on top...you sure you don't have those? I think you used to...are you absolutely sure? Why don't you ask your manager, I think you just don't know what I'm talking about. I KNOW you used to have them. Why don't you have them anymore? Are you SURE?") She almost got thrown into the lagoon by me and 999,998 other frustrated people!!! :headache: :lmao:

cindrela
05-27-2007, 08:08 PM
I happen to be a fan of the DP. Yes, I do remember going to the screens at the end of Spaceship Earth and my hubby (then boyfriend) making a reservation for Alfredo's that evening. Times have changed. I did make ADR at the 180 mark for our trip last Thanksgiving. We have kept receipts to compare, and my husband enjoys it. I remember one trip we ate so many hamburgers and hot dogs, I still get sick thinking about it.(prior to the plan). I'm already planning our days based on EMH and such, adding in a reservation doesn't bother me. That's also why they have Park Hoppers. If I'm in a park that doesn't have many choices for sit down meals, you know there are plenty in Epcot. My kids can be picky, so I look at the menus at home, so at least I know there will be something each of them will like. For what they give you, and yes its a lot, it pays for itself. We are also trying restaurants than we may have never tried before. Now, we have a few favs (Prime Time, Cananda). Last year we ate at Tony's on MAIN STREET !!! I lost count of how many times I've been to Disney and we finally ate there!!! It's a preference, and we prefer the dining plan. There would be no way my husband would leave the MK to go eat off property. That's just us.pirate: (just saw Pirates III - loved it)

mommyaof2
05-27-2007, 08:10 PM
Here we go again.
popcorn::

TDC Nala
05-27-2007, 08:16 PM
What I meant was just because someone does not purchase the DDP if they are staying onsite, they are not forced to make ADR's for every single day if they don't want to. If you purchase the DDP you have no choice, but if you don't purchase it you can eat offsite if a family wants to do that.


At certain times (peak mealtimes, any time at peak attendance times, any time during the free dining offer), if you want to eat at a restaurant that accepts the dining plan, whether or not you actually HAVE the dining plan, yes, you do have to make ADRs.

Of course there are always restaurants, some onsite, that do not accept the dining plan and may not have the crowds. I don't believe ANY of them are in the theme parks. If you want a table service meal in a theme park, you have to plan.

Ever hear of Magical Express...if you're taking advantage of that (and many do) you CAN'T go offsite to eat, unless you spring for a taxi.

Katiebell
05-27-2007, 08:20 PM
I don't plan my days around my reservations, I plan my reservations around my days. First you have to look at the calendar to see what days have extra magic hours, if you know you will be there that day, book a res for that day. If you want a free day, book it somewhere more Central (like a resort inbetween the parks) and make them for late so you know you will be tired and hungry from whatever park you chose to go to. The worse thing that can happen is you decide not to make your reservation. I hope you can go again and do it right:thumbsup2

That is exactly what we did, and it worked beautifully. We booked Mama Melrose's on the day MGM had EMH late, to get the Fantasmic Package. We booked Wolfgang Puck Cafe on the day we planned for DTD and had tickets for La Nouba -- and we were even able to change our dinner reservations from WPC to Raglan Road just hours before dinner.

patsal
05-27-2007, 08:31 PM
Go to guest services as soon as you get where you are going for the day and make an ADR where ever there is availability. If CS is taking you 2 hours change the times you are eating. Even on July fourth the CS are not that bad unless you eat at noon when everyone else does!

Cool-Beans
05-27-2007, 08:41 PM
We were there last week and managed to get same-day reservations at the following:

Liberty Tree Tavern in the Magic Kingdom - twice.

Whispering Canyon Cafe at the Wilderness Lodge.

Kona Cafe at the Polynesian.

Restaurant Marrakesh, San Angel Inn and Garden Grill in Epcot.

50's Prime Time Cafe in MGM.

We ate with no wait at the Tusker House for breakfast around 9:00. We ate with almost no wait at all the counter service places - we just went there at off-times. If you're eating when everyone else is, there will be a wait, you know?

We also got same-day reservation for Margaritaville over at Uni.

Redwitch
05-27-2007, 08:52 PM
Try using your TS for lunch - at least you'll get some value from the plan.

pavil
05-27-2007, 08:55 PM
We were there last week and managed to get same-day reservations at the following:



You are comparing apples to oranges though. This week is Peak with the holiday.

Sorry to hear about your problems. I assume you have checked with the Guest Services at your Hotel about Finding you places.

Each day arrive early at whatever park you are going and head to guest relations. Yes is will be a slight wait but that is your best shot of getting TS at each park.

Try to hit a restaurant just as it opens, You will get some hits that way.

Have you tried Resort Restaurants that a fairly close by?

Keep calling WDW Dine and see if something opens up.

I'm sure it is a drag but you are going to have to pick at the scraps of reservations that are left.

It will get worse this summer.

CR Resort Fan 4 Life
05-27-2007, 09:08 PM
Ever hear of Magical Express...if you're taking advantage of that (and many do) you CAN'T go offsite to eat, unless you spring for a taxi.I realize that there maybe some guests who do not purchase the DDP but still have all their meals at WDW, which is ok because it's what they want to do.

I also know that if a guest does uses Magical Express weather they are on the DDP or not then they will spend all their time at WDW, unless they take a taxi like you just said.

However you also have to remember that not every guest who stays at a Walt Disney World Resort uses Magical Express and not everyone stays onsite for every meal each they day will be there.

Peter Pirate 2
05-27-2007, 09:13 PM
To the OP... I hate to say this, but its your fault for the problems. You knew of ADRs, and you knew how to make them, but YOU chose not to... This is your problem, not disneys, not anyone else, your problem. Had you not been on the DDP, you would still have had the same problem, but the fact that YOU choose not to made ADRs, YOU decided your own fate to risk it, and you paid for it. Had you not come in here and blamed others, i would have felt sorry for you, but honestly, now after reading your post, i soley blame you and your ignorance
What a nasty post! :sad2:


pirate:

Irishhockey
05-27-2007, 09:14 PM
I have yet to even use the dinning plan... but every vacationer there is effected by the DDP, whether you use it or not...

As others have said... you plan your days... then plan where you would like to eat. I know for us, it's actually something we look forward to and helps pace ourselves knowing that we have a reservation. We don't always show up right at the time either, sometimes earlier or later and still usually manage to get a table in reasonable time.

CS waits are now through the roof, whether or not your on the dinning plan. Usually it's due to lack of knowledge for those on the plan trying to order... but I only blame disney for that... poor execution of the plan with information.

I'm sorry your having dinning issues... but when I looked at the brochure for our September trip... nearly all of the TS restuarants had a symbol that meant "advanced reservation needed" next to the name... whether I liked it or not... I made reservations asap...

There will always be "lovers" and "haters" of the DDP... and the plan itself definately has some flaws... but if you take the time to plan and prepare... it has it's pluses. If your "not they type" to do that, then the DDP or even dinning at disney... is going to be a huge struggle.

TDC Nala
05-27-2007, 09:17 PM
I realize that there maybe some guests who do not purchase the DDP but still have all their meals at WDW, which is ok because it's what they want to do.

I also know that if a guest does uses Magical Express weather they are on the DDP or not then they will spend all their time at WDW, unless they take a taxi like you just said.

However you also have to remember that not every guest who stays at a Walt Disney World Resort uses Magical Express and not everyone stays onsite for every meal each they day will be there.


Yes. Doesn't solve the problem. I dont' believe this thread was about eating offsite. If you're going to eat offsite you still need to have a plan - when to leave the park, how long it will take to get your car, which restaurant to drive to...If you want to eat table service in a theme park you must make ADRs.

There's times when you can make them same day...but the OP was apparently trying to walk into theme park restaurants without any ADR because they valued the ability to be spontaneous. That carries a risk these days. You can't be totally spontaneous AND expect to eat table service in a theme park.

CR Resort Fan 4 Life
05-27-2007, 09:23 PM
Yes. Doesn't solve the problem. If you want to eat table service in a theme park you must make ADRs.

There's times when you can make them same day...but the OP was apparently trying to walk into theme park restaurants without any ADR because they valued the ability to be spontaneous. That carries a risk these days. You can't be totally spontaneous AND expect to eat table service in a theme park.I agree that ADR's seem more valuable in the parks, then at the Resorts. The OP took a gamble and could not walk-in, so I won't flame them for that the way others have on this thread. However I still say that there can also be times during the year when the odd time any family could try to walk-in or make last minute ADR's in the park restaurants, because they are not 100% booked for 365 days a year.

auntie
05-27-2007, 09:58 PM
We just returned last night from a week at the WL. This was our first visit using the dining plan. I was somewhat apprehensive about it. I have been to Disney MANY times..and only made but a few ADR's, and played it day by day. Not much into planing months in advance where to eat. I actually cancelled our previous trip that was scheduled last September during the "free dining" promo. I wasn't able to secure ANY reservations ANY where..and that was in June. I wasn't going to risk having to use my table service meals at counter service restaurants. I was prepared to eat late or early..we are VERY flexible..don't have little ones. There was NOTHING. So I understand your frustration. I got panicky..and said "forget it"..we cancelled and reshedule for this past week. We had a great pin code mailer discount..and once I checked availability at the various restaurants we wanted to eat at, I changed it to a package to include the dining. IT WAS GREAT! I have to admit, I was not one for planing months in advance for a meal. Never had to do it before...but I figured I wasn't going to risk not having a place to eat..and I'm glad that I made a table service meal for each day. I figured even if we didn't wind up going..I could always cancel if we found somewhere else we wanted to eat at. My kids LOVED it! We tried restaurants we might not have otherwise tried, and my son(15) tried different dishes, that I know he wouldn't try at home, because he wouldn't want to risk not liking something and then wasting the money. The dining plan does effect all travelers to Disney. Whether you are on it or not. Because so many people do use it..the restaurants are booked. You would need an ADR even if you don't use the plan. On our first day..at the WL there was a woman in front of us checking for an opening any time that evening, there was nothing. They did not accept walk ups. She actually had to call the dining line. (I thought that was a little ridiculous..but that's what they told her). I was especially glad at that moment that I made some reservations. It also seems that you are(OP) traveling during a holiday weekend and dining was bound to be more of an issue. We did notice that as of Thursday the resorts and restaurants began to appear more crowded.
While I'm not a fan of having to plan a meal 6 months in advance...I am glad that I did plan 7 table service meals for our trip. We did actually miss a breakfast..and were able to secure a reservation for Brown Derby using two table service credits per person. So there was some availability at restaurants..but not a lot. Also..I found when I went to the front desk..they were able to secure dining that the "dining line" told me was not available. You might try that.

Cool-Beans
05-27-2007, 10:31 PM
I agree that ADR's seem more valuable in the parks, then at the Resorts. The OP took a gamble and could not walk-in, so I won't flame them for that the way others have on this thread. However I still say that there can also be times during the year when the odd time any family could try to walk-in or make last minute ADR's in the park restaurants, because they are not 100% booked for 365 days a year.I agree. Even when it is busy, you can usually get same-day seating, if not walk-up...as long as you aren't too picky about where you eat. I doubt I'd get a Chef Mickey's dinner as a walk-up in August, but Liberty Tree Tavern would probably be not too hard. Done it before. :)

I suppose Memorial Day weekend is harder than other times, but I often get table service as a walk-up or by calling from the cell phone minutes before.

I may call Disney Dining for the heck of it tomorrow and see what I find available. :)

CR Resort Fan 4 Life
05-27-2007, 10:36 PM
I doubt I'd get a Chef Mickey's dinner as a walk-up in August,A few years ago we got Chef Mickey's as a walk-in for dinner and only waited about 30 minutes. I know since then things have changed and that might be a lot harder now, however the point is we still got it and if you don't try you never know what the response might have been from the Cast Members at the host podium.

CR Resort Fan 4 Life
05-27-2007, 10:43 PM
Just to prove it can be done last August when my family and I happen to be staying at WDW during free dinning, we were able to make two last minute ADR's for lunch in the Magic Kingdom and Disney MGM Studios. The locations were The Plaza and 50's Prime Time Cafe. When we made the ADR's the Cast Member said what time would you like and I asked what times were available? He told me a list of times and we picked something after 11:00 AM for each location. So even during free dinning we got those ADR's with no problems and it just shows you that if you don't ask you never know. Which also proves my theory that no location is always 100% booked, especially during free dinning when a lot of other guests have purchased it.

Maria311
05-27-2007, 11:13 PM
Oh Brother.....NOT AGAIN!!!!!!

TDC Nala
05-27-2007, 11:15 PM
Still would not recommend that anyone go to WDW on the dining plan and attempt to get by without ADRs...I agree you wouldn't HAVE to make them 6 months in advance but should still make them at some point.

CR Resort Fan 4 Life
05-27-2007, 11:22 PM
Still would not recommend that anyone go to WDW on the dining plan and attempt to get by without ADRs...I agree you wouldn't HAVE to make them 6 months in advance but should still make them at some point.You are correct because if you purchase the DDP and can't get into any of the TS restaurants, then what is the point of purchasing it?

If someone who was not on the DDP decided to make most of their ADR's just before going to WDW or while in WDW and they could not get them, nothing is lost because they don't lose any dinning credits.

Cool-Beans
05-27-2007, 11:36 PM
Still would not recommend that anyone go to WDW on the dining plan and attempt to get by without ADRs...I agree you wouldn't HAVE to make them 6 months in advance but should still make them at some point.True dat. If you get shut out, you lose your dough. If you use the Dining Plan, it is a good idea to schedule yourself at some point.

Although, again, if you aren't too picky, you can almost always eat somewhere. I don't remember EVER not being able to find somewhere to sit down when I wanted to.

But I don't use the Dining Plan and don't take the bus. I have lots of options, so it is easy to say, "Don't worry, it'll be fine." If I didn't have a car and had to stick to a Plan, it might be a different story.

ha1264
05-28-2007, 02:53 AM
We got a few by calling and seeing if anyone canceled. I'm not getting the DDP next time and the problem is solved. We are spontanious and can't plan that far ahead. It takes the fun out of it for us. I can't be the only one who feels this way about the plan. Some comments have talked about who much things have changed with TS due to the plan. I know it's a good deal for Disney but not me. Give me a little slack. This is only my second trip and the 1st at peek time. I've read about the crowds but until you see them for the first time it's shocking. Still having a good time in the parks. Thanks for all the feedback.

SorcererDonald16
05-28-2007, 03:19 AM
Some places I saw that took walk-ups in March 2007 during spring-break time:
Mama Melrose
Chef Mickey's
50's Primetime
Marrakesh

Not many, but maybe you'll have some luck at one of those places. Chef Mickey's took a walk-up family fairly quickly, but this was maybe only 40 minutes before they closed. The rest of them took walk-ups at various times; 4:30-ish at Primetime, although it was about a 3 hour wait, 6pm at MM with maybe a 30 minute wait, and around 8pm at Marrakesh with no wait.

I've never been on the DDP and probably never will be (doesn't make sense for us since we're very light eaters), but it definitely has affected the whole TS process. Even in 2004, we were able to walk right up to places and get seated within 30 minutes. Then in 2005, BAM!, can't get in anywhere without an ADR. :sad2: We had no idea that things were like that and were really disappointed. Didn't get a single TS meal all trip. I hate planning my eating habits out weeks in advance as well and it does take the fun out of it to an extent for us as well, so I know where you're coming from, ha1264. We never decided more than a day in advance what park we were going to, let alone what we were going to eat at said park. But the way it's set up now you have to sacrifice the spur of the moment type style if you want to eat anything except counter service for the whole time (unless you are lucky and they take walk-ups).

The crowds at peak time are definitely shocking the first time you experience them. I remember the first time I saw the old fireworks show and Spectro at peak time, back in July of 1996. Never have I seen so many people crammed in one place long in advance of both things. Just trying to leave afterwards was scary as anything with that crush of people elbow-to-elbow all funneling through Main Street. I hope you enjoy the rest of your vacation, and I hope you can find some places that will let you in as a walk-up, or that someone will cancel their ADRs by phone so you can snag a table that way. :wizard:

disprincesspatty
05-28-2007, 06:59 AM
We just came back, May 13th-19th. We did not get the DP because I didn't want our days revolving around being at a certain place at a certain time. We easily got into Ragland Road on one night, and the rest of the time we went to restaurants that don't take reservations, Rainforest and ESPN.

Quinn222
05-28-2007, 07:13 AM
We got a few by calling and seeing if anyone canceled. I'm not getting the DDP next time and the problem is solved. We are spontanious and can't plan that far ahead.

Are you planning on off time CS the whole time next trip? I don't use the DDP ever but I always make ADRs ahead. If we don't feel like going to the place we have an ADR for we can always cancel it but having no ADRs and planning to eat on property is just a disaster waiting to happen, dining plan or no dining plan.

PaulaSB12
05-28-2007, 07:40 AM
I went to disney (with ddp) last september. I had a 7pm Garden Grill reservation but at about 10 am decided I would try something else. I went to the guest services centre and they had a list of resteraunts with reservations available and got one at Alfreado's instead, asking that they cancel the Garden grill one for me. If its possible to do this in the free dining period it is possible to do it at other times.

PlutoLuvr
05-28-2007, 08:05 AM
We got a few by calling and seeing if anyone canceled. I'm not getting the DDP next time and the problem is solved. We are spontanious and can't plan that far ahead. It takes the fun out of it for us. I can't be the only one who feels this way about the plan. Some comments have talked about who much things have changed with TS due to the plan. I know it's a good deal for Disney but not me. Give me a little slack. This is only my second trip and the 1st at peek time. I've read about the crowds but until you see them for the first time it's shocking. Still having a good time in the parks. Thanks for all the feedback.

I can't plan that far ahead, either, but buying the DDP or not, you'll still need to make ADRs if you want TS. We've never bought the DDP, and we've been turned away from many restaurants because they were booked solid.

Hopefully you'll find a hidden gem in one of the restaurants you were able to get into due to cancellations. We "settled" on breakfast at 'Ohana our last trip -- all of the other character meals around MK had been sold out for months -- and it was one of the best times and meals we've ever had.

luv2nascar
05-28-2007, 08:32 AM
I never understood the I don't know where I want to eat logic. Make the ADRs and if you change your mind fine or if you can get in somewhere else fine. No punishment from disney just cancel if you can. BUT if nothing is available and counter service is 2 hrs wow hey I have this ADR with practically no wait. Its a no brainer really.

akalittleeva
05-28-2007, 08:39 AM
I hope you are able to find some options for your TS.

I agree with the pp...personally, I would rather take the time at home before we leave to plan for a TS a day (if on the DDP, knowing that is what you will need to use the credits), then to try and scramble and find somewhere to eat during my precious park time and possibly wasting time and $. I've been telling my non-planning friends to book their ADRs - if their plans change while at WDW, then they could try to get in somewhere else and cancel their original ADR - but if that isn't possible, they have their original plan to fall back on.

MaryKatesMom
05-28-2007, 08:49 AM
We got a few by calling and seeing if anyone canceled. I'm not getting the DDP next time and the problem is solved. We are spontanious and can't plan that far ahead. It takes the fun out of it for us. I can't be the only one who feels this way about the plan. Some comments have talked about who much things have changed with TS due to the plan. I know it's a good deal for Disney but not me. Give me a little slack. This is only my second trip and the 1st at peek time. I've read about the crowds but until you see them for the first time it's shocking. Still having a good time in the parks. Thanks for all the feedback.

I'm sorry you had a hard time getting into a restaurant. Years ago, on our first trip to WDW with the kids when I didn't know about the dis and my only planning book was Birnbaum's I was horrified by the crowd level. It was Easter week but I was able to get ADR's only weeks in advance but I happen to be OCD about dining reservations.

Since DDP I doubt very much I would have gotten what I wanted just weeks in advance over Easter.

If you have no-idea about ADR's and WDW in general and are a first timer I imagine it would be quite a shock.:scared1: There is probably a lot of people that feel DDP is oversold because they could not use their TS credits. Of course they would not be on the disboards otherwise they would have known to make ADR's well in advance for the theme parks.

I never understood the I don't know where I want to eat logic. Make the ADRs and if you change your mind fine or if you can get in somewhere else fine. No punishment from disney just cancel if you can. BUT if nothing is available and counter service is 2 hrs wow hey I have this ADR with practically no wait. Its a no brainer really.

Since DDP has forced many former CS people into TS the number of ADR's has risen but unfortunately so have the no-show's which is troublesome for those of us for whom the DDP does not make sense.

Laura
05-28-2007, 08:50 AM
We got a few by calling and seeing if anyone canceled. I'm not getting the DDP next time and the problem is solved. We are spontanious and can't plan that far ahead. It takes the fun out of it for us. I can't be the only one who feels this way about the plan. Some comments have talked about who much things have changed with TS due to the plan. I know it's a good deal for Disney but not me. Give me a little slack. This is only my second trip and the 1st at peek time. I've read about the crowds but until you see them for the first time it's shocking. Still having a good time in the parks. Thanks for all the feedback.

No, you're not the only person who feels like this. And I've been going to WDW over a period of 25 years. Now, I didn't have a problem making any ADRs while at WDW or doing walkups to restaurants last year (late April/early May), so I really think being there at a peak time hurts.


I never understood the I don't know where I want to eat logic. Make the ADRs and if you change your mind fine or if you can get in somewhere else fine. No punishment from disney just cancel if you can. BUT if nothing is available and counter service is 2 hrs wow hey I have this ADR with practically no wait. Its a no brainer really.

It's simple: I don't always know where I will be on what day in WDW while I'm there. Especially during the last few days of the vacation; the plan kinda goes out the window. Our last trip I made one ADR at Boma a few months ahead because I knew I'd want to do AK on our first full day. All the rest of our TS meals were on the fly, we had no problems, and we even saved money versus being on the DDP (and yes we had 7 TS meals in a week), but my meals are usually cheaper than a meat-eater's. Also DH and I typically share one appetizer and dessert.

But if I were paying for the DDP, I would feel like I had to get an ADR every day to make sure I was getting my money's worth. And if I weren't in that park that day, or didn't feel like eating a big dinner on a hot day, etc, and therefore cancel my reservation without being able to get a new one, I'm losing money the same as if I hadn't made a reservation at all. Then what's the point of doing the plan?

The answer for me (and many others) is to not get the DDP. I've never spent 2 hours at a CS restaurant, and there are better options now than burgers and hot dogs--good thing too, being a vegetarian. But I guess I don't mind eating fast food for dinner, especially when it's a tasty sandwich at Columbia Harbour House or the veggie platter at Tangierine Cafe. We have great restaurants here at home (and at a better price), so I don't feel like I'm missing out if I don't eat at Le Cellier or whatever.

ChesireMeg
05-28-2007, 08:56 AM
I understand where you are coming from...when my mom and I went we had the same problem. We tried going to Chef Mickey's last April and couldn't get in because of the dining plan. In the past if we wanted to go to a restaurant spontaneously we could usually get in. Oh well....next time we just made reservations ahead of time. Have fun on your trip..don't let this bother you--you are in Disney!! :banana:

scrapbookworm
05-28-2007, 09:39 AM
We only make 2-3 ADRs per trip. Our next trip is next week! Yeah! We have a lunch at Le Cellier on Monday, CRT on Tuesday night, and V&A for the DH and I on Wednesday night. On our first "planned" trip in May 2005, I made too many ADRs. We ended up skipping California Grill and Chef Mickey's (shocking, isn't it?). So on our subsequent trips, we never make very many ADRs. We also don't buy the DDP. I can sympathize with the OP about wanting spontaneity- that trip in 05 forced us to be in certain places at certain times, and a couple times we weren't even really hungry at our mealtime. And that's why we don't buy the DDP. I have thought about it for future trips, but we'll see...

ha1264
05-28-2007, 10:02 AM
The answer for me (and many others) is to not get the DDP. I've never spent 2 hours at a CS restaurant,


The CS was at Pizzafari in AK. Actually 1hr 40min from the time we got in line until we sat down. 4 people. Around 11:10 am Friday. Thanks.

Laura
05-28-2007, 10:30 AM
The CS was at Pizzafari in AK. Actually 1hr 40min from the time we got in line until we sat down. 4 people. Around 11:10 am Friday. Thanks.

Wow, that really sucks.

Dreamfinder2
05-28-2007, 10:39 AM
The answer for me (and many others) is to not get the DDP. I've never spent 2 hours at a CS restaurant,


The CS was at Pizzafari in AK. Actually 1hr 40min from the time we got in line until we sat down. 4 people. Around 11:10 am Friday. Thanks.

ha1264, I'd like to come alongside you (we were neighbors once - we lived in McComb, right up I-55):

It's easy to forget for those of us who know Disney as well as our hometowns how simply overwhelming it is for folks who are still learning the ropes. I'm flabbergasted at your Pizzafari wait - we were there last week, and I don't think we were more than 5 minutes in line for any counter service spot. Amazing. But the crowds were minimal, and we didn't use a Fastpass for anything, and never had more than a 20 minute wait.

Anyway, you've been given some great dining strategy suggestions. Here are mine:

- eat CS meals as early as possible - breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- venture outside the parks for TS meals. Some places we've been successful as walk-ups include Spoodles, Kona Cafe, Concourse Steakhouse, Grand Floridian Cafe, Trail's End, Olivia's, Yacht Club Galley ... if you're in the MK, some of these are a monorail hop away, and in Epcot, some are walking distance. It does mean leaving the park (which may not be a bad thing, depending on your fatigue level.)
- CALL AND ASK. We were able to snag breakfast for 8:10 at Chef Mickey's the night before. The concierge at Saratoga Springs was a real jewel on this one.

You can still go to Disney and be spontaneous (one one trip, we stood at the bus stop and just took the first bus that came along to whatever park), but you do make certain sacrifices for your freewheeling. That's not a bad thing, but it IS the way it is.

Get up early, eat early, leave the parks early for a break, and come back late. Such is our mantra.

Good luck!

I might just add that we are, indeed, one of those peculiar types who max out the DDP. And I am an anal planner, so that helps.

fla4fun
05-28-2007, 11:31 AM
I'm with the previous poster - I usually just hop on the first bus that comes in to the bus stop. I never have any idea until I wake up in the morning what park I might even be interested in. Since I have an AP, and usually travel solo to Disney, I can usually spend less money by using an AP discount on the room and paying for food OOP. I very seldom make any dining reservations (with the exception of things like the Candlelight dining package). I know going into it that I may end up with CS dining every day, and I'm OK with that. What I'm not OK with is waking up in the morning and thinking "Rats! I have to go to XXX today because I have a dining reservation!" I tried that last December, and by halfway through the trip, I called and cancelled every ADR I had left. I do manage to get into some TS restaurants, either by calling morning of or by walking in. I usually do TS for lunch instead of breakfast or dinner, which is kind of the opposite of what most people on the DDP do, and then either have CS or room service dinner, again the opposite of the typical DDP diner.

If I were buying the DDP, I would definitely make ADR's, because I hate to lose money on anything. But since the plan doesn't work out for me to start with, I can afford to be more spontaneous.

I think a lot of people are being way too harsh on the OP. So they tried something and it didn't work, and they came here to share that experience to spare anyone else from suffering the same fate. They never said it was someone else's fault, in fact, owned up to the fact that they were aware of how the ADR's work. I can see how the CS restaurants can have waits close to two hours at lunch time during peak season, as that's when the DDP folks tend to use their CS credits. Between people asking what they can buy with the plan, and the people who wait until reaching the register to look at the menu, it backs up fast. At least after reading this post, no one should have to wonder what happens if you buy DDP and don't plan ahead. Thanks OP for taking one for the team!

budbeerlady
05-28-2007, 11:44 AM
With the plan or not I would expect you would have the same waits unless you pack a lunch everyday. I wouldnt blame it all on the plan, people are going to eat regardless of the plan or not. Sorry its dampening your plans, but its a busy time with everyone getting out of school, much more than October would be. I would be on the phone right away with dining from your room to secure any meals you can!

wirki
05-28-2007, 11:47 AM
We went last year during Free Dining and I felt the pressure. I did not like having to have everything planned, as I have little ones and needed to have some sort of freedom. We are going in Nov and I have made my 4 ADR's and will wing it the rest of the trip. I picked out what places I did not what to missed and called for those.
I agree that the dining plan is not for all of us. Even those of us who like to plan it can be a little much.

I am sorry about Pizzafari. That would have really been a downer. I hope you take it with a grain of pixie dust and enjoy the rest of your trip.

Debbie

KKB
05-28-2007, 01:29 PM
We are here now. Arrived 5-24 leaving out 5-31. The weather is great people are nice but the dining plan is a drag. Everything is BOOKED! This is our 2nd trip. Went last October maybe we got spolied only missed The spirit meal thing. This time I think we are going to have a few sit down meals left. Maybe it's my fault for not making ADR's months in advance. I just can't do that. We do have a small stradegy to attack the parks but I can't plan my meals months in advance. It's a great deal money wise but having to plan your day around a meal doesn't make since to me. We even tried to go at odd times. It seems the other 200,000 people did the same. The counter service in the parks is a 2hr ordeal. Will come back becuase we like it here but will never use the plan again. Sorry to send so many negatives waves but I had to vent. Thanks, for letting me.


First of all, you are there on a holiday weekend...pretty much should have expected crowds, long CS lines (during peak meal times), and few ADRs left.

Second...I find it hard to believe that there are NO ADRs available ANYWHERE at ANYTIME...perhaps Le Cellier, character meals, and such.

I think if you are flexible about times (choose nonpeak meal times...a bit early or a bit late), and restaurants that aren't "hot", you should have some luck.

MinnieM21
05-28-2007, 01:47 PM
I just got back and didn't make any ADRs before leaving. While I was there, I tried to make an ADR for the Crystal Palace for dinner for the next day and got it. Then I tried to make an ADR for breakfast at Boma for the following day and got it. I tried to get an ADR for breakfast at 1900 Park Fare but couldn't get it. I called back the next night and was able to get an ADR for 10:30am
I called to make an ADR for Boma for that night but was only offered an ADR for 9:40 so we turned that one down. We tried for Chef Mickey's, Crystal Palace again, 1900 Park Fare and couldn't get in. So we asked for an ADR for Cape May Cafe and got one for that night.

You just have to keep trying and be more flexible with your dining times and places to eat. I went by myself down to Orlando to visit someone and spend the week with him so I didn't make any ADRs because we wouldn't be visiting the parks really that much. My mom ended up flying down half way through my trip since I was alone after the first day (long story but I think you get it...:sad1: ) and so we decided to make some ADRs for the remaining 3 days. I was happy to try some new restaurants that I wouldn't have tried if I had made ADRs before.

Alltiggeredout
05-28-2007, 01:50 PM
This adr thing is doing my head in.:headache: When we have been before(FEB) we have never had a problem,but now that we are going at xmas it's taking so much planning to work out our adrs it's taking the fun and spontinaity out of our trip.I'm finding it a daily job to look at the menus and work out where to eat.:surfweb:

Nancyg56
05-28-2007, 05:18 PM
I hope you are able to find some options for your TS.

I agree with the pp...personally, I would rather take the time at home before we leave to plan for a TS a day (if on the DDP, knowing that is what you will need to use the credits), then to try and scramble and find somewhere to eat during my precious park time and possibly wasting time and $. I've been telling my non-planning friends to book their ADRs - if their plans change while at WDW, then they could try to get in somewhere else and cancel their original ADR - but if that isn't possible, they have their original plan to fall back on.

I think that problem may be that Disney Dining has changed in the past few years. I was fortunate enough to find the DIS and made ADR's because of the information I got here, but it had been a very long time since I had visited WDW.

My DD found out on Wednesday evening that a family on her DD's T Ball team was leaving early the next morning and had made no ADR's. Not one. They had been 5 years ago and did not need them at that time, had no idea that things had changed. They are at WL, so my DD advised her to try to get some that night, but who knows how that turned out. It is Memorial weekend, tons of people in the parks and no ressies. We try to tell people that times have changed, but you can;t help if you don't know.

Pixie_Dust
05-28-2007, 05:25 PM
Since DDP has forced many former CS people into TS the number of ADR's has risen but unfortunately so have the no-show's which is troublesome for those of us for whom the DDP does not make sense.

Would someone please PM me with the definitions of all these acronyms? I am guessing DDP means Disney Dining Plan. Does ADR mean Advance Dining Reservation?? I have no idea what CS and TS mean. It makes it harder to use these forums for planning when I can't interpret the posts, lol.

Thanks,
Pixie

xyzabc33
05-28-2007, 05:36 PM
CS = Counter Service--the kind you walk up to, order then carry your own food to the table
TS= Table service-- you are seated and a member of wait staff takes your order and brings you your food.
Youare right on the others. Ppl(people), myself included..lol, tend to shorten things to save their fingers when typing. Plus it is soooo much easier to say the letters then the whole word. Exp. EMH=Extra Magic Hour.. See what I mean... :-D
I think there is a whole list of abbreviations somewhere on the site. Anyone?

doconeill
05-28-2007, 05:49 PM
Discussion abbreviations (http://www.wdwinfo.com/abbreviations.htm)

Always keep a bookmark to that page until you are used to it all...and even then, keep it...

xyzabc33
05-28-2007, 06:19 PM
Discussion abbreviations (http://www.wdwinfo.com/abbreviations.htm)
Always keep a bookmark to that page until you are used to it all...and even then, keep it...

:lmao: :lmao: how true!
thanks doc...I didnt know where to tell her to go. DARN search function..lol

LuvsEpcot
05-28-2007, 07:34 PM
I don't plan my days around my reservations, I plan my reservations around my days. First you have to look at the calendar to see what days have extra magic hours, if you know you will be there that day, book a res for that day. If you want a free day, book it somewhere more Central (like a resort inbetween the parks) and make them for late so you know you will be tired and hungry from whatever park you chose to go to. The worse thing that can happen is you decide not to make your reservation. I hope you can go again and do it right:thumbsup2

This is exactly what our family does. In September the extra magic hours for Epcot is our first day so we all managed to get ADR's for Coral Reef and MK magic hours are on our third day so we managed to book O'Hana's, so far it has worked our great.

pavil
05-28-2007, 08:23 PM
If you are going I would recommend ADR's at the very least as your fallback position.

You aren't beholden to them unless they are package (fantasmic) or Dinner shows. You don't get docked a TS for missing one, though not canceling is poor etiquette and hurts all other diners in WDW as well. That way you have someplace to dine and if you want to find other options, all you have to do is cancel the ADR. You can still have flexibility and spontaneity and have ADR's in your back pocket.

Don't cancel your ADR's till you have firmed up your plans though.

Minnie1156
05-28-2007, 08:35 PM
We got a few by calling and seeing if anyone canceled. I'm not getting the DDP next time and the problem is solved. We are spontanious and can't plan that far ahead. It takes the fun out of it for us. I can't be the only one who feels this way about the plan. Some comments have talked about who much things have changed with TS due to the plan. I know it's a good deal for Disney but not me. Give me a little slack. This is only my second trip and the 1st at peek time. I've read about the crowds but until you see them for the first time it's shocking. Still having a good time in the parks. Thanks for all the feedback.


I still do not understand what the plan has to do with this. You need to make reservations with or without the plan.:confused3

akalittleeva
05-28-2007, 09:00 PM
I think that problem may be that Disney Dining has changed in the past few years. I was fortunate enough to find the DIS and made ADR's because of the information I got here, but it had been a very long time since I had visited WDW.

My DD found out on Wednesday evening that a family on her DD's T Ball team was leaving early the next morning and had made no ADR's. Not one. They had been 5 years ago and did not need them at that time, had no idea that things had changed. They are at WL, so my DD advised her to try to get some that night, but who knows how that turned out. It is Memorial weekend, tons of people in the parks and no ressies. We try to tell people that times have changed, but you can;t help if you don't know.


I do understand that the restaurants are much busier and it is unfortunate that people can't just wing it like they used to. What I was referring to was that some people know the importance of ADRs (especially with DDP) and still decide not to make them and then are frustrated with the end result. I would much rather have an ADR to fall back on. Even if it is not ideal - it is something and I have not wasted time at the parks looking. I do feel badly for people who have no idea that they need to make ADRs (I tell as many people as I can), or those who take spur of the moment trips and are disappointed with their choices. I just don't understand those who buy the DDP, know that ADRs are recommended, still choose not to make them and then get upset about the outcome.

dzneelvr
05-28-2007, 09:12 PM
sorry you didn't get along with the dining well, but ADRs are a must for the places you want to get in no matter what time of year you go. for us, it's just a piece of the planning that is fun in it's own right:) and we decide on one new place to try each trip. we know which park we'll be in--then we schedule one sitdown in that park. that leaves us free to graze or do a CS for the other meals/snacks. I would never leave every meal to chance:sad2: it's just way too stressful:scared1: WDW here we come June 15:woohoo:

Nancyg56
05-28-2007, 09:15 PM
I do understand that the restaurants are much busier and it is unfortunate that people can't just wing it like they used to. What I was referring to was that some people know the importance of ADRs (especially with DDP) and still decide not to make them and then are frustrated with the end result. I would much rather have an ADR to fall back on. Even if it is not ideal - it is something and I have not wasted time at the parks looking. I do feel badly for people who have no idea that they need to make ADRs (I tell as many people as I can), or those who take spur of the moment trips and are disappointed with their choices. I just don't understand those who buy the DDP, know that ADRs are recommended, still choose not to make them and then get upset about the outcome.

I know that there are some who refuse to plan, and that can be a shame. It must be an eye opener to arrive and find that dining is going to consist of CS for the most part. While I understand that there are some who try to do without for their own reasons, I do think that the majority who do not make their ADR's are those who simply don't know how the TS restaurants are these days. I also try to let friends know if they discuss an upcoming trip, because if you don;t know how bust it is now, your trip can be a let down.

JimMIA
05-28-2007, 09:35 PM
Maybe it's my fault for not making ADR's months in advance. I just can't do that. We do have a small stradegy to attack the parks but I can't plan my meals months in advance.I'm sorry you were disappointed, but you're right -- your problems are self-inflicted.

You knew about ADRs, and the Disney Dining folks remind us all to make ADRs when we add DDP. ADRs just don't fit your vacation style. There's nothing wrong with that, but you would have had difficulties eating no matter how you paid for the meals -- it has nothing to do with DDP.

If you don't care to make ADRs, most of the time you are going to have a choice of wasting DDP credits or hopping on a bus to some remote resort restaurant that happens to be the only place you can get into with an hour's notice. Personally, if I didn't want to make ADRs to eat at restaurants of my choice, I wouldn't get DDP.

I hope the rest of your trip was good enough to outweigh this disappointment.

auntie
05-28-2007, 09:38 PM
We were there last week..at the WL. Just got back home Saturday night. As I mentioned earlier..I've been to Disney many times..but never on the Dining Plan..and it has been four years since our last visit. I always made a few ADR's..but no more. I too, didn't want to have to plan every meal. After reading how things have changed with the DDP and canceling our trip for the during the free dining promo..because there was nothing available. I mean NOTHING. We had Disney calling us, telling us they were offering dinner at 11:00 pm...that's NUTS. I'm flexible..but who wants to eat that late..just so we don't wind up using TS credits at CS restaurants. Not for us. I didn't want to risk wasting our money or dealing with the potentially crowded restaurants. We opted to go in May..not during a free dining promo. We waited and paid for the dining..as I thought the price was a good deal. For a family of 5 adult sized people. This time around..I figured I had to break down and do some planing. It was the BEST thing I could have done. I mean it's not really that hard. It's pretty much picking out 7 TS meals. I did that early on...and was even able to tweak it, and change things as the trip came closer, and we knew a bit more what our plans might be. We are five people..no little ones...so everyone has a say on where they want to go, and what they want to do. WE are pretty flexible. My entire family just loved the fact that the meals were paid for..and we had a destination each day..be it for lunch or dinner...and then the kids scheduled there individual plans around it. It wasn't as big a deal as I thought it might be. Believe me, I was one of those who didn't want to plan around a meal..or plan a meal 6 mos. out. Which I didn't. We made reservations in March...and with in the month I had some ADR's where I knew we would want to eat..and added a few..and even changed one once we were at the WL. I will tell you that as the week went on..and it came closer to the holiday (Memorial Day weekend) it was more crowded, and I was happy to have the reservations we did.
However, as a few have mentioned...whether you are on the plan or not..it does seem that if you do want at TS meal...you do have to plan for it. Especially during a busy time. We might consider a spur of the moment trip in August..and if we did..I likely wouldn't be using the dining plan..but I'd also be okay with counter service. Although..frankly I'd starve before I'd wait an hour and 40 minutes on a counter service line. I'd leave. I'm pretty sure you would be able to eat CS at your own resort and not have that kind of wait for fast food.

just another guy
05-29-2007, 01:34 AM
maybe you are trying to eat during peak times..try waiting a little bit later

Yup, I know a couple disney servers. A few I know at more popular restaurants have told me that if I want in, to stop by towards open or close.

LorilieMarie
05-29-2007, 06:52 AM
After reading how things have changed with the DDP and canceling our trip for the during the free dining promo..because there was nothing available. I mean NOTHING.

The trip you cancelled...was it in Sept for free dining? That's when I'm going, but I have reservations. I was thinking about changing some. It's usually not very crowded during that time, maybe it will be this time:confused3

gina2000
05-29-2007, 07:05 AM
We will be hearing of this problem more and more as the parks get the summer rush. It's inevitable. People don't realize how busy WDW has become nor do they realize what effect the DDP has had on TS and CS restaurants.

We usually make ADRs but there are days when we change our park plans and park hop due to crowds. That can mangle a TS dinner easily. We tried to change a lunch over a crowded holiday weekend and couldn't do it. We had park hopped and missed our last ADR by a half hour or so. So we skipped it and ate offsite. If I had been on the DDP, however, I'm sure I would have been aggravated to lose the TS. Or I would have felt compelled to stay in an overcrowded park to spend my TS credit.

I have a friend going next year. She hasn't been in a few years and was shocked to hear about the restaurant occupancy rate. She would have never known otherwise because she's been several times, doesn't frequent a WDW bulletin board and will be staying offsite. If I hadn't told her, her grandson's first trip wouldn't be what she wanted. Is it really her fault? Technically yes but the situation has become difficult enough that even people like myself aren't too eager to change an ADR last minute or try to figure out a walkup situation.

The only solution to it all is to plan with the knowledge that there may be no flexibility to change the ADR on the DDP. There are times where you just have to do that. Difficult situation, to say the least.....

MaryKatesMom
05-29-2007, 07:21 AM
I still do not understand what the plan has to do with this. You need to make reservations with or without the plan.:confused3

If you paid for TS and can'tget an ADR, it makes the plan much more of a headache. :headache: If I was in MK for the day and had to use my TS at the Cape May I'm not going to be happy to spend an hour of my precious park time on the bus.:drive:

The DDP plan has been promoted by Disney and been successful at filling the TS restaurants making it even more necessary to make ADR's, with some places filling much more quickly and walk ups harder.

Also, some of my favorite meals have been shrinking at WDW and I blame the pressure of DDP to keep the costs under $38.

Tink3Belle
05-29-2007, 02:08 PM
You should try the hotel restaurants - its better than nothing.

Ishy
05-29-2007, 02:28 PM
We are here now. Arrived 5-24 leaving out 5-31. The weather is great people are nice but the dining plan is a drag. Everything is BOOKED! This is our 2nd trip. Went last October maybe we got spolied only missed The spirit meal thing. This time I think we are going to have a few sit down meals left. Maybe it's my fault for not making ADR's months in advance. I just can't do that. We do have a small stradegy to attack the parks but I can't plan my meals months in advance. It's a great deal money wise but having to plan your day around a meal doesn't make since to me. We even tried to go at odd times. It seems the other 200,000 people did the same. The counter service in the parks is a 2hr ordeal. Will come back becuase we like it here but will never use the plan again. Sorry to send so many negatives waves but I had to vent. Thanks, for letting me.

Planet Hollywood is always our backup - do you have access to a printer? If so you can search - find the VIP coupon - 15 minute seating.. Even so - the walk up isnt so bad if you go for an late lunch/early dinner - they limit ADR's - same thing with some of the other DTD resturants.
Another backup is Pepper Market - I have never seen that place crowded - Table Service food - but only a counter service -- they let you use table services there and they will give you stuff in the gift shop to make up for the trade in.
Maya Grill had openings DURING free dining last year if you called that day. YUMMY FOOD!
I love the food court at POFQ too... They had a chicken and rib platter that fed three of us.. and the ice cream sundaes were amazing.
Boma's is also a place that you can usually get into at the last minute too.
Again - amazing place to eat.

Good Luck - you have my sympathy - it is very hard to plan where to eat 180 days out.

hansel1
05-29-2007, 02:39 PM
Wow, you know it really pays off to research your vacation before you go.

Every family that I know that gripes about disney did little or no research into vacationing there.

I'm not saying the OP didn't do any research but even spending a few weeks reading the threads here at the disboard could warn people of potential pitfalls to their vacation happiness.

Shannone1
05-29-2007, 02:51 PM
I can see why the OP would be frustrated. I bet there are LOTS of other people on and off the DDP that get frustrated too !! We went to WDW over Easter and used the DDP. I was told when we booked to make our ADR's at least a few months ahead of time so I did and we didn't have any problems. :)

However, had I NOT be someone who is lucky enough to be online all the time and found these message boards, I probably would not have made the ADR's. How many people would think that you would need dining reservations for ALL of the sit down restaurants in the parks ?? When we were there just five years ago the only ADR's we had to have were for the character breakfasts. People coming in off the street probably wouldn't think of making ADR's, know what I mean ?? :confused3

I think the DDP is wonderful and it worked well for us. But I can also see how easily people could get frustrated. None of the restaurants we went to in the parks were accepting walk ins and many people were upset and letting the CM's know this was a really bad situation. I am SURE there are people who were so upset about it that they won't be back.

I wonder if it would be possible to have 1-2 sit down restaurants that did not accept ADR's in each park. You would just have to wait it out like at most other busy restaurants anywhere else. At least then everyone would have a place to eat. It may be hard for all of us on the Disney Boards to remember, but there are still MANY, many people who are not on the computer and aware of all the tips and stradegy's that we have come to rely on.

Nancyg56
05-29-2007, 05:10 PM
However, had I NOT be someone who is lucky enough to be online all the time and found these message boards, I probably would not have made the ADR's. How many people would think that you would need dining reservations for ALL of the sit down restaurants in the parks ?? When we were there just five years ago the only ADR's we had to have were for the character breakfasts. People coming in off the street probably wouldn't think of making ADR's, know what I mean ?? :confused3



I understand the frustration as well, but I must tell you that I have booked four trips and the last three times I booked and each time I spoke to someone at the CRO the CM has asked me if I have booked my dinner ADR's and has offered to transfer me to Disney Dining. Each time I have been advised to make those ADR's.

I wonder if the people who are surprised are those who book through a TA who has not advised properly or those who have booked online. I am anxios to hear how my DGD's friends family made out this weekend as they had not booked one ADR and did not know that they were needed. I am going to ask her how they booked their trip.

PlutoLuvr
05-29-2007, 05:45 PM
I understand the frustration as well, but I must tell you that I have booked four trips and the last three times I booked and each time I spoke to someone at the CRO the CM has asked me if I have booked my dinner ADR's and has offered to transfer me to Disney Dining. Each time I have been advised to make those ADR's.

I wonder if the people who are surprised are those who book through a TA who has not advised properly or those who have booked online. I am anxios to hear how my DGD's friends family made out this weekend as they had not booked one ADR and did not know that they were needed. I am going to ask her how they booked their trip.

Or those who just prefer to stay offsite and really have no reason to call WDW, other than to maybe find out about discounts on park tickets or the like.

We've traveled with newbies or folks who haven't been to WDW since the '80s, and they're blown away when I suggest we make some dining ressies months in advance if there's anything that they must try onsite, or just plan on our big meals being offsite. These have never been folks who stay onsite or have reason to call WDW in advance. They trade their timeshare for something off 535 or I-Drive and show up to the parks.

And there's an awful lot of WDW lovers who don't know about the DIS. I've been going to WDW since it opened anywhere from four to six times a year, and I only just found out about the DIS a year or so ago (as well as Mousesavers :thumbsup2 ). So it's not like only the real passionate WDW lovers know to come here.

And I must admit that in my 35 years of living and vacationing all over, I've never seen meal planning so far in advance and so detailed as I do here. I've vacationed in NY, Las Vegas, Utah, TX, Atlanta, Chicago, Philly, and I was raised in Fort Lauderdale -- big vacation destination. Sure, you might book a ressie a few weeks out for a special night or for one of the "hot spots" in any given town, but we've always arrived at our hotel, unpacked and talked to the check-in folks or concierge about what they recommend for dining in the time we're there. I don't go to one centralized menu website for all of NYC or Zion, Utah, go over all the menus, figure out where we're going to be in six months, what we're going to be doing that day, what time we'll be done, showered and cleaned up and still have enough time to get to a ressie. Like I said, *maybe* for an extra special occasion one night during our trip.

And nothing against those who enjoy planning their meals out so far in advance. I just think we're in that transition spot where WDW used to be a spot for planners, as well as non-planners. Nowadays, for whatever reason, you really need to plan.

I think a lot of people who haven't been to WDW in the last few years think WDW is just like most other vacation spots. And if you don't have a need to call them in advance, no one is going to stress to you to make ADRs.

Nancyg56
05-29-2007, 06:25 PM
I think a lot of people who haven't been to WDW in the last few years think WDW is just like most other vacation spots. And if you don't have a need to call them in advance, no one is going to stress to you to make ADRs.

It was like that for me when I planned our first trip. We had not been back for a real WDW vacation for about 18 years and back then it was not like it is today. I stumbled onto the DIS when I started researching for our trip so I was fortunate. My DH thought I was nuts until he saw people being turned away from TS restaurants, and my family, who had been merciless in their teasing, got on board the planning train. Our mantra is "You can always cancel them. At least you know that you will have a place that you chose to eat."

Colleen27
05-29-2007, 08:49 PM
However, had I NOT be someone who is lucky enough to be online all the time and found these message boards, I probably would not have made the ADR's. How many people would think that you would need dining reservations for ALL of the sit down restaurants in the parks ?? When we were there just five years ago the only ADR's we had to have were for the character breakfasts. People coming in off the street probably wouldn't think of making ADR's, know what I mean ?? :confused3


Aren't the CRO CMs advising people to make ADRs? I know when we called to book our trip, back when we were planning on going in Oct with the dining plan, the CM I talked to made a point to mention that ADRs can be made 180 days before arrival. When I called to ask about rates & availability for August (without the DDP), the CM warned me that we were within that 180 day window and that we should make ADRs as soon as possible. I got no such notice when I changed my plans from Oct to Dec, but I attribute that to the fact that we switched to the Dolphin, booked through Starwood rather than Disney.

scottny
05-29-2007, 09:05 PM
sorry to hear that but better to have the ressie and not go than to have no ressie and not be able to go anywhere.

We are going in July and the CM we talked to said to make them and if we cnanot make it just call or let them go so that is what we did for breakfast and dinner.

We did pay for CRT breakfast so will be there definitely.

Sorry again

ha1264
05-29-2007, 11:07 PM
Update on DDP. We got into Boma, Whispiring Canyon Cafe, Hoop dee doo, Hollywood n Vine, Planet Hollywood(only place to take walk ins) we have one more day and will use our last TS at Planet Hollywood. Thanks for all the advice. We had to stay on the phone checking at different times hoping someone canceled. While at Hollywood n Vine tonight I saw them turn walkins away. During our meal (7:40pm) there were numerous tables that were empty. I just didn't understand that. If I were to call for resses next year can I make more than one a day? The reason I ask is this. I think there are lots of people who make resses and don't bother to cancel. I feel most of you on this board would cancel but from the empty tables I saw tonight and about 4 on the bottom floor during the Hoop Dee it makes me wander about others. I think they should set penalties for those that don't cancel like the Hoop Dee and I think they do it at the Spirit thing. DO NOT USE THE DDP IF YOU ARE NOT A PLANNER! YOU WILL BE FRUSTRAITED! No attack on Disney just a warning.

auntie
05-29-2007, 11:15 PM
I'm so glad you were able to secure some ADR's that you were happy with.
As far as booking more than one ADR...I think you are absolutely correct. There are people who make them..and then don't show up or cancel. I will also admit to being one who has made more than one for a day. When it was early out..and I wasn't sure if we would want say a lunch or a dinner. When the time for the trip grew closer and our plans more defined I cancelled the ones I knew we weren't going to keep. I went through the entire week with a cast member days before the trip, suring up what I had..and cancelling what I didn't want. They didn' seem surprised by it. I do remember reading that during the free dining promo last year they were cancelling out duplicate reservations. Although there are ways around that anyway. In any case..I'm glad you got some TS meals.

kath1210
05-30-2007, 12:00 AM
You should try the hotel restaurants - its better than nothing.

Actually, for us, the hotel restaurants are WAY better than nothing - we prefer most of them.

When we plan a trip with (or without) DDP (June will be our 5th time using the DDP) we make late-ish dinner ADRs mostly at the hotel restaurants. Many of them are our favorites, like Ohana, Chef Mickeys, Kona Cafe, Spoodles, and Whispering Canyon Cafe. This way it doesn't matter which park we are at that day.

A few of our ADRs are in the parks, and if we don't make it to the park on that day or leave early, we simply cancel and book somewhere else. We have been to WDW during Christmas, Spring Break and free dining and have always been able to get an ADR somewhere. Maybe we're just not as picky about where we eat as others, but we enjoy almost all of the restaurants.

lou7401
05-30-2007, 05:54 AM
This is becoming a problem for us too, since we can't book our trip really far in advance. We usually book our vacations 3-4 months in advance and the next one when we go to Disney in June was only booked about 10 days ago! It was hard to get ADRs. Due to my husband's work, I can't see being able to book so far in advance so taking last-minute trips to Disney just isn't going to work anymore due to DDP.

ha1264
05-30-2007, 09:38 AM
Actually, for us, the hotel restaurants are WAY better than nothing - we prefer most of them.

When we plan a trip with (or without) DDP (June will be our 5th time using the DDP) we make late-ish dinner ADRs mostly at the hotel restaurants. Many of them are our favorites, like Ohana, Chef Mickeys, Kona Cafe, Spoodles, and Whispering Canyon Cafe. This way it doesn't matter which park we are at that day.

A few of our ADRs are in the parks, and if we don't make it to the park on that day or leave early, we simply cancel and book somewhere else. We have been to WDW during Christmas, Spring Break and free dining and have always been able to get an ADR somewhere. Maybe we're just not as picky about where we eat as others, but we enjoy almost all of the restaurants.

You may be able to cancel and get something late really late. Last night we tried the Sci-Fi at 5:15 they told us they could take us 9:50. I guess if your willing to wing it like we did (will never do it again) you can find places to eat but it really messes with your trip. Thanks for the info I will try that one next time.

Katiebell
05-30-2007, 09:50 AM
This is becoming a problem for us too, since we can't book our trip really far in advance. We usually book our vacations 3-4 months in advance and the next one when we go to Disney in June was only booked about 10 days ago! It was hard to get ADRs. Due to my husband's work, I can't see being able to book so far in advance so taking last-minute trips to Disney just isn't going to work anymore due to DDP.

Last minute trips should be fine if you like the CS restaurants, eat offsite, or are flexible about which TS restaurants you eat at and when. If I knew I could go to WDW in a month, I'd call right now and ask, "OK, we will be there June 24 - 30...what do you have for ADR's on those dates?" I'd take what I could get, maybe some TS lunches or late-seating character breakfasts, find some new places to try, and if the times/places were inconvenient, I'd try to see if there was something better when I got there, or would cancel them individually if they just wouldn't work.

Ishy
05-30-2007, 10:15 AM
Update on DDP. We got into Boma, Whispiring Canyon Cafe, Hoop dee doo, Hollywood n Vine, Planet Hollywood(only place to take walk ins) we have one more day and will use our last TS at Planet Hollywood. Thanks for all the advice. We had to stay on the phone checking at different times hoping someone canceled. While at Hollywood n Vine tonight I saw them turn walkins away. During our meal (7:40pm) there were numerous tables that were empty. I just didn't understand that. If I were to call for resses next year can I make more than one a day? The reason I ask is this. I think there are lots of people who make resses and don't bother to cancel. I feel most of you on this board would cancel but from the empty tables I saw tonight and about 4 on the bottom floor during the Hoop Dee it makes me wander about others. I think they should set penalties for those that don't cancel like the Hoop Dee and I think they do it at the Spirit thing. DO NOT USE THE DDP IF YOU ARE NOT A PLANNER! YOU WILL BE FRUSTRAITED! No attack on Disney just a warning.

If you don't show up or cancel 48 hours out for hoopdeedoo, Your credit card is charged for the full amount per person. I think they have VIP seating down there, we shadowed(or he shadowed us) one of the private-tour-guides last year and they sat next to us - front and center at hoopdeedoo. We did good in our planning because we ran into the VIP family and sat next to them on and off at different shows and rides and resturants for 3 days. When you have enough money to VIP your way thru disney - I guess the empty tables don't matter - whats 200$ to a gazillionaire?

Sounds like you had some nice TS's at the last minute - Not so bad. If there is somewhere you WANT to eat - its like any other premium resturant - make reservations. Winging it is do-able though. Can't wait to hear what you thought of Planet Hollywood and Boma's. Two of my favorites. :)

just another guy
05-30-2007, 09:18 PM
I think there are lots of people who make resses and don't bother to cancel. I think they should set penalties for those that don't cancel.

BINGO!!!

Disney does have people who look into this, but even then, people can book ressies under fake names. Its a messed up system, and disney is to scared to charge people for not showing up, because people would probably complain. When someone makes a ressie and doesn't show, they have to hold that table for 15 minutes in case they are running late. That also causes the server to lose out on tips. Disney SHOULD require a credit card to book tables, and do a $10 charge if they don't show up. Disney could pcoket $5, and give $5 to the server. Everyone wins.

ha1264
05-30-2007, 09:35 PM
Ended the night with a trip to Boatwrights. We were going to Planet Hollywood but wanted to try something else. All in all it went ok. We were able to use all our TS and CS. We had good service at all places some were really great. I guess I'll have to use the plan next time. If you don't you will bring your own food or spend a lot more than the plan. I just hope they do something about the people who make multiple resses and don't cancel. I like the idea the above commentor has. I will just have to plan a little as bad as I hate it. Thanks for all the help. Heading back to Louisiana in the morning.

thunderbird1
05-30-2007, 10:17 PM
To the OP: I'm sorry for your frustration. It's no fun feeling that way, especially on vacation.

I never understood the I don't know where I want to eat logic. Make the ADRs and if you change your mind fine or if you can get in somewhere else fine. No punishment from disney just cancel if you can. BUT if nothing is available and counter service is 2 hrs wow hey I have this ADR with practically no wait. Its a no brainer really.

Well put. This is our theory, too--make the ADR's, and adjust if you want to (and can). We always make more than one ADR for our favorites (sometimes using both, sometimes cancelling one), and more than one ADR for several of the days (lunch and dinner). And we still end up scheduling new ones while we're there--either same day or a day ahead. It's nice to have the flexibility to be spontaneous, while still having the security of a plan.

And although I wouldn't purchase the DDP (or use it during free dining) unless I was willing to make ADR's, for those that really want to, I'd recommend showing up right at opening time for each meal period to maximize your odds as a walk up. Last August, during free DDP, even Le Cellier was taking a couple of walk-ups every morning when they opened for lunch (11 or 11:30).

MaryKatesMom
05-31-2007, 06:49 AM
Update on DDP. We got into Boma, Whispiring Canyon Cafe, Hoop dee doo, Hollywood n Vine, Planet Hollywood(only place to take walk ins) we have one more day and will use our last TS at Planet Hollywood. Thanks for all the advice. We had to stay on the phone checking at different times hoping someone canceled. While at Hollywood n Vine tonight I saw them turn walkins away. During our meal (7:40pm) there were numerous tables that were empty. I just didn't understand that. If I were to call for resses next year can I make more than one a day? The reason I ask is this. I think there are lots of people who make resses and don't bother to cancel. I feel most of you on this board would cancel but from the empty tables I saw tonight and about 4 on the bottom floor during the Hoop Dee it makes me wander about others. I think they should set penalties for those that don't cancel like the Hoop Dee and I think they do it at the Spirit thing. DO NOT USE THE DDP IF YOU ARE NOT A PLANNER! YOU WILL BE FRUSTRAITED! No attack on Disney just a warning.

I wish WDW would make cancellations easier. Just use another branch on the phone tree and make it possible to leave a message. If you've tried to get through to Dining during meal-time or right before, you can end up with a wait (hard to be on hold in the theme parks) and using minutes on your phone.

It isn't a problem to cancel in the morning using the hotel phone while the kids get ready.

kcrew
05-31-2007, 09:07 AM
Boma's is also a place that you can usually get into at the last minute too.
Again - amazing place to eat.

.

I am trying to get Boma during the 1st week of free dining and it is impossible, along with most of the other places I really want. And its still 3 months out.!

Ishy
05-31-2007, 09:48 AM
I am trying to get Boma during the 1st week of free dining and it is impossible, along with most of the other places I really want. And its still 3 months out.!

Also try when you are there, every morning, call. ps. - a little secret (shush, dont tell anyone)... There are AMAZING cast members working the front desks of the hotels. Some with special powers, I swear!

Also - if you want to cancel, and you dont want to get stuck on the phone, and your in a park, or hotel, just pop into any 'guest services' let them know your cancelling your ressie - they will be happy to do it for you so you can continue on your way and not be on hold forever.

I went to Boma during the first free dining, called at 4pm - got 8.30pm ressies - went there an hour early so I could enjoy the animals and the story telling... I LOVED Boma - but I am also happy eating at the food court :) I love the Animal Kingdom Lodge - I just can't afford to stay there.pirate:

eeyoregon
06-02-2007, 12:47 AM
I am not sure what the dining plan had to do with your problems. You failed to plan and therefore planned to fail. It doesn't seem like it was a lack of knowledge on your part that you should make ADRs. You just chose not to. Had you been on the dining plan or not, you would have still faced the same issues without reservations.

Uh, not to mention the OP was there during PEAK season with Memorial Day Weekend, first weekend that most schools are out for the summer plus graduation gatherings!! Still confused with how any of the OP's problems had to do with the dining plan :confused3 ??

ADR's are there for a reason otherwise count on counterservice.

islandmum
06-02-2007, 10:45 AM
we booked at 180 days out on the DDP - its our first time to WDW so we organized the days first in terms of where we wold be and then picked TS's based on the days activities.

With being the first time we know that we definately want to eat in certain places, and with 2 littlies we've made all our ressies incorporating where we are on that day so we're not travelling specifically for the meal - we're already there for the park or in the hotel etc..

I know the ADR means we'll get what we want so I book it.

I sympathise with those who want to be more flexible and not have to decide where to eat 6 months in advance but thats the reality now with disney spreading the diners over all their restaurants instead of some being mega busy, others empty and thereby forcing many people off property to eat. This way they are maximising their table coverage.

It works well for us.

tohono2000
06-02-2007, 05:31 PM
This is a common complaint. The Dining Plan is just that, a plan. YOU need to plan to use it. We have even booked two reservations on the same day near the same time because we were not sure where we would be...and yes, once we knew, we cancelled the extra one so that others could enjoy it. If you do not plan, it is like trying to get a reservation on a Friday night in a great eating town...only in this case everyone in WDW is eating out.

kimberh
06-02-2007, 06:42 PM
I was there May 20-24th, I saw numerious families ,day after day get turned away. It didn't matter if they were on the DDP or not. I have not read all 8 pages of this, but PLAN. The days of dropping into a restaurant are over! It didn't matter what size family they were, small or large. There was not any room, and this is the week before the OP went. We never waited very long for our ADR.

CR Resort Fan 4 Life
06-02-2007, 08:02 PM
I was there May 20-24th, I saw numerious families ,day after day get turned away. It didn't matter if they were on the DDP or not. I have not read all 8 pages of this, but PLAN. The days of dropping into a restaurant are over! It didn't matter what size family they were, small or large. There was not any room, and this is the week before the OP went. We never waited very long for our ADR.While it is now harder to walk-in to a WDW restaurant without an ADR, you can't say those days are over. If that were a true fact every restaurant would have to be 100% full for 365 days a year, which is not possible.

Nancyg56
06-02-2007, 08:45 PM
While it is now harder to walk-in to a WDW restaurant without an ADR, you can't say those days are over. If that were a true fact every restaurant would have to be 100% full for 365 days a year, which is not possible.

An acquaintance of my DD was there over Memorial weekend and was able to get into WCC and Artist Point. They did not mention anywhere else, but it can be done. I am not one to leave things to chance so it would not work for me, but if you are not fussy why not?

CR Resort Fan 4 Life
06-02-2007, 08:51 PM
An acquaintance of my DD was there over Memorial weekend and was able to get into WCC and Artist Point. They did not mention anywhere else, but it can be done. I am not one to leave things to chance so it would not work for me, but if you are not fussy why not?That's a great example to what I was referring to. During a busy holiday in WDW someone was able to walk into some very popular restaurants and it proves that it can be done. I am not saying it will work everytime but if you don't try you won't know. Just because others here say it can never be done, well in my opinion that's just an easy way to scare people into not taking the chance to try going as a walk-in.

DCDisney
06-02-2007, 08:55 PM
BINGO!!!
Its a messed up system, and disney is to scared to charge people for not showing up, because people would probably complain. When someone makes a ressie and doesn't show, they have to hold that table for 15 minutes in case they are running late.


With the ADR system you don't have a table reserved for you specifically you just get the next available table so they don't have to hold tables. Disney "knows" what percentage of people will be no shows and plans accordingly. Even in really busy places there are often empty tables for short periods and apparently they have to space things out a bit so the kitchen doesn't get too many orders at the same time.

No one has ever really clarified at what point cancelled ADRs do or don't go back to being available. So even if you cancel that morning I wonder if the ADR is actually being opened up for someone else. With rooms I think they re-do overnight so I wonder if dining is the same way in which case it doesn't even matter if you cancel same day because no one else can get the ADR anyway?

Yvonne

Dizneydaz
06-02-2007, 10:19 PM
I'm so sorry things went bad for you on DDP. :confused3 Last year I made an ADR for every night (we use ours mostly for dinners and a few lunches, and was able to get everything we wanted. That being said, we didn't keep all of them (i.e. had a park restaurant ADR for a non-park day) Since we went for 10 nights, and I travel with my DM who insists we leave Disney property (I know, I know :confused: ) and see other parts of FL as well as her uncle, I know going in that some of our ADRs won't stick. Or we'll change our minds. :laughing:

Last year's ADRS were
Day 2 Kona 6:25 Kept
Day 3 50's PT-Cancelled-made same day ADR for RR 8:00
Day 4 1900 PF 8:00 Kept
Day 5 Le Cellier 7:30 Kept
Day 6 Calif. Grill 7:30 Kept
Day 7 LTT, MNSSHP 5:55 Kept
Day 8 Sci Fi 1:00 snack and Rose & Crown 7:30 dinner and Illuminations-cancelled both, made same day ADR for Kona 8:40
Day 9 Kona 6:25-cancelled-made same day ADR for HBD 7:30
Day 10 Coral Reef 1:00 and HBD dinner-cancelled both and ate at Narcoossee's 7:30 ADR made a few days before.
Day 11 1900 PF 10:20-Kept DD 7'th birthday breakfast :thumbsup2

Finally tally-kept 6 of 12 ADRs made from home. Made 4 ADRs while there. Lesson learned-don't make lunch ADRs-just doesn't work for us. :confused3

As you can see we kept most of our meals towards the beginning of the trip, but the ones towards the end changed while there-numerous reason-change in plan for the day, recommendation from fellow diner; ate there the night before.

This year I've only made a few ADRs so far but I'm not worried. :goodvibes I've made the hardest ones to get-PSB for dinner; Calif. Grill; & LTT for MNSSHP. We won't be eating at LC this year and PF won't be open. I'll make the rest of my ADRs before we leave in Sept. but, if I remember correctly, I made our last ones, last year, in June/July and still had no problem. We'll most likely eat at Kona twice again this year.

I'm pointing out how we did it last year for those who are reading this thread and are worried that if they don't have ADRs they won't get in. You can make ADRs while there, though you will have to be flexible. We like to dine late, so eating at 7:30-8:00 works out well for us. :goodvibes I recommend that you make an ADR for each night, if possible, before you go. If you notice on my ADRs for last year, I made about 1/2 (5 of 12) of our ADRs for non-park restaurants. Since we have a rental vehicle, getting to resort restaurants is easy for us. This frees us up on our non-parks days including the days we do BB and TL. :goodvibes On those days when we had to change our plans I made a new ADR as soon as I knew of the change. I was able to book Raglan Road, Kona, and HBD on the same day. Narcoossee's I had to book a few days in advance-nothing available for Sat. or Sun, but we got Monday-dinner our last night :cloud9:

We also didn't have a problem using our credits for CS. We tend to eat lunch late (after 1) and we didn't run into much of a crowd, anywhere to speak of. We had CS at Cantina de San Angel; Leaning Palms (TL); Tuskers and Restaurantosaurus; Lottawatta Lodge (BB); Everything POP ; Tangierine Cafe and Refreshment Port; Port Orleans Food Court; Tusker's House-breakfast; Tamu Tamu, Flametree BBQ and Restaurantosaurus,

Happy Dining everyone!

Alltiggeredout
06-03-2007, 04:42 AM
We are going for 21nights at xmas,so i'm planning on making about 13 adr's and leaving the rest so that we have some flexible days(go to Earl of Sandwich for example).We've never gone at that time of year before but being on this site has made me realise that if you want to eat you plan.I like being more spur of the moment,but it won't be possible at xmas so i'm just getting into the swing of things and enjoying planning.(although it's starting to do DWs head in):rotfl2:

Ishy
06-03-2007, 05:48 AM
We are going for 21nights at xmas,so i'm planning on making about 13 adr's and leaving the rest so that we have some flexible days(go to Earl of Sandwich for example).We've never gone at that time of year before but being on this site has made me realise that if you want to eat you plan.I like being more spur of the moment,but it won't be possible at xmas so i'm just getting into the swing of things and enjoying planning.(although it's starting to do DWs head in):rotfl2:

21 days! and they say I am a disney FREAK :) well this FREAK is envious of you! I would make one a day - cancel if you need to - but make one a day. -- Make a few breakfast?

Again - our OP may not be happy - but SHE DID get into some nice places without the 180 ADRS and used her TS's. If she had only planned a couple of ADRs at places she wanted to try... she would have been HAPPY.

I think she did well and proved that you can go down without :)

Alltiggeredout
06-03-2007, 07:15 AM
[QUOTE=Ishy;18986551]21 days! and they say I am a disney FREAK :) well this FREAK is envious of you!

Without wanting to sound awful,we've never been for less than 3wks(and we still haven't done everything:rotfl: )But back to the subject,we aren't on any dining plan so i think 12/13 adrs will be fine as like i said we may want to go offsit some days and pigout at Taco Bell:woohoo:

kimberh
06-03-2007, 04:20 PM
That's a great example to what I was referring to. During a busy holiday in WDW someone was able to walk into some very popular restaurants and it proves that it can be done. I am not saying it will work everytime but if you don't try you won't know. Just because others here say it can never be done, well in my opinion that's just an easy way to scare people into not taking the chance to try going as a walk-in.

I was not trying to scare anyone. I attend Disney at least 3 times a year. I see this on Every trip. So, if you want to gamble, then go ahead and gamble! If you want to spend needless hours, of your day trying to get a reservation, that you could have easily gotten at home, then by all means try and do so. We were late, for a ADR on our last trip,due to a very slow bus,(she would not drive over 25mph) we had witnesses, they were on the same bus, I tried to call the dining line for over 20 minutes, I saw the other party doing the same thing, using a cell phone, of course. We never got through, the line stayed busy. When we arrived at Boma's, the CM said," we were beyond the reservation time", I explained the situation, he said, that we were still beyond the time, I said, " you are kidding, right"? The other party, that we did not know, spoke up and verified my story, we were allowed in. We were just a party of 2. I would think that is not a hard table to get, such as a 5 top or 8 top.

Artist Point is a expensive restauant, I would think that would be available. WCC has been said to have not been available, for days, on anothers persons's trip. Someone may have become lucky. I know that for us, planning is not hard to do, I plan, if you are not a planner, then take what is left over and be happy with it, don't come on the Dis and complain about it!

The restaurants I have really noticed the capacity filled,are at Themed parks, Families are being turned away by the dozens, while I am waiting for my table, mutilpy that by the rest of the hours. I don't go at Peak times, so what is happening at Peak times?

Anyway, I am not going to get into a huge debate about this, if you don't want to plan, then don't! Just see how many hours of your day you will spend trying to find a place to eat.

CR Resort Fan 4 Life
06-03-2007, 04:38 PM
I was not trying to scare anyone. I attend Disney at least 3 times a year. I see this on Every trip. So, if you want to gamble, then go ahead and gamble! If you want to spend needless hours, of your day trying to get a reservation, that you could have easily gotten at home, then by all means try and do so. We were late, for a ADR on our last trip,due to a very slow bus,(she would not drive over 25mph) we had witnesses, they were on the same bus, I tried to call the dining line for over 20 minutes, I saw the other party doing the same thing, using a cell phone, of course. We never got through, the line stayed busy. When we arrived at Boma's, the CM said," we were beyond the reservation time", I explained the situation, he said, that we were still beyond the time, I said, " you are kidding, right"? The other party, that we did not know, spoke up and verified my story, we were allowed in. We were just a party of 2. I would think that is not a hard table to get, such as a 5 top or 8 top.

Artist Point is a expensive restauant, I would think that would be available. WCC has been said to have not been available, for days, on anothers persons's trip. Someone may have become lucky. I know that for us, planning is not hard to do, I plan, if you are not a planner, then take what is left over and be happy with it, don't come on the Dis and complain about it!

The restaurants I have really noticed the capacity filled,are at Themed parks, Families are being turned away by the dozens, while I am waiting for my table, mutilpy that by the rest of the hours. I don't go at Peak times, so what is happening at Peak times?

Anyway, I am not going to get into a huge debate about this, if you don't want to plan, then don't! Just see how many hours of your day you will spend trying to find a place to eat.Actually if my family and I ever make ADR's we have had no problems making them at the last minute while in WDW, with the Cast Members from the Atrium Club floor at the Contemporary. No matter the location weather it was for lunch or dinner they have always got us the ADR, so that is why we never like to call at 180 days out since we don't know at the time where and what days we want to eat at certin locations.

Before I was just making a general statement that out of the 365 days a year, none of the WDW restaurants are 100% booked where they can't allow walk-ins.

Last week my family and I went to a popular restaurant in Toronto and when we arrived we were told the restaurant is full, however there would be tables opening up in 15 minutes and eventually we got seated within that time. So they never said sorry were full tonight so you got to leave, the way it is at WDW restaurants.

keishashadow
06-03-2007, 04:59 PM
I assume that the comparatively few guests staying concierge enjoy the proverbial pulled strings which allow them to get dining @ arrival;) ; the rest of us NEED to plan ahead.:thumbsup2

That said, I was able to switch some dining ressies today once i found out that in order to obtain autographs during SW weekends you must get FPs early in the day.

21 days out before our trip I was able to get CP @ 7; Fantasmic Pkg @ 3:55 & Captain Jacks @ 6:45 pm...was pleasantly surprised.

FYI from the weekend before Columbus Day to the weekend after last year, every restaurant we dined at had a sign saying no walkups available @ the checkin podium.

Wingedheart
06-03-2007, 05:08 PM
I didn't read all 8 pages of this thread...but I just booked a spontaneous trip this past week. We found $68/round trip airfare and couldn't pass it up! We go July 26-31. I was shocked to get all my first choices in ADRs! The only one I didn't get was at 1900 Park Fare because it will be closed.

kimberh
06-03-2007, 05:40 PM
Actually if my family and I ever make ADR's we have had no problems making them at the last minute while in WDW, with the Cast Members from the Atrium Club floor at the Contemporary. No matter the location weather it was for lunch or dinner they have always got us the ADR, so that is why we never like to call at 180 days out since we don't know at the time where and what days we want to eat at certin locations.

Before I was just making a general statement that out of the 365 days a year, none of the WDW restaurants are 100% booked where they can't allow walk-ins.

Last week my family and I went to a popular restaurant in Toronto and when we arrived we were told the restaurant is full, however there would be tables opening up in 15 minutes and eventually we got seated within that time. So they never said sorry were full tonight so you got to leave, the way it is at WDW restaurants.
So using Concierge, I would think that Disney Restaurants save bookings for Concierge. It would be interesting to see, if you would gamble with your family trip... walk in at Disney restaurants and see if you could get a table.:flower3: I doubt it. :) The majority of the world does not use Concierge! I have read posts, where Concierge CM's will call the renter and see what all they can pre- book for them, is that true?

DVC Sadie
06-03-2007, 06:08 PM
So using Concierge, I would think that Disney Restaurants save bookings for Concierge. It would be interesting to see, if you would gamble with your family trip... walk in at Disney restaurants and see if you could get a table.:flower3: I doubt it. :) The majority of the world does not use Concierge! I have read posts, where Concierge CM's will call the renter and see what all they can pre- book for them, is that true?

Even though we have DVC, whenever we wish to visit WDW we book conceirge so we can take advantage of all the extra help we receive for our ADR's and firework shows. For us it is still so worth it, just due to scheduling, timing and airfares.

pavil
06-03-2007, 06:38 PM
Just be advised that you will be limited in your choices. For example on a Saturday in Mid May at Epcot Guest Services at 12:00 was full at almost every dinner spot for TS dining ( I think there were 2 restaurants with openings) and about 3/4 full in lunch openings for TS lunches (4 or so). That whole week, even though it was pretty slow for Disney I Could not get into Boma at a normal dinner time(5-8), nor could I get Chef Mickeys. Sure you can luck out and get an ADR, it will just be the exception rather than the rule. Things are only bound to be harder when it comes to peak season if it is hard at relatively slow times.

It's not a scare tactic, just helpful advice. If you want to eat at a certain spot on a certain day at a certain time, make an ADR. If not, then wing it and be happy where you end up.

CR Resort Fan 4 Life
06-03-2007, 09:55 PM
So using Concierge, I would think that Disney Restaurants save bookings for Concierge. It would be interesting to see, if you would gamble with your family trip... walk in at Disney restaurants and see if you could get a table.:flower3: I doubt it. :) The majority of the world does not use Concierge! I have read posts, where Concierge CM's will call the renter and see what all they can pre- book for them, is that true?Are you talking about the IPO Cast Members who make the ADR's ahead of time for Concierge guests before they arrive at WDW, or the Cast Members who work on the Club Level Floors in the Deluxe Resorts? We have only dealt with the Cast Members who work on the Club Level Floors and like I said before when we ask them for an ADR they look in computer and when they see times that are available, then they ask us what time we would like? So they have never had to call a restaurant and pull some strings or anything like that to get us an ADR.

Disneydad99
06-03-2007, 09:57 PM
We Don't Plan parks around the dining but we do plan our dining around where we will be that day! You can ck Disney's website and get the Parks calendar many months in advance then you will Know when the Extra Magic hours are and you can also make it fun by getting the kids involved way before your trip dates in picking where and when you go to each park. Then you call and make reservations for dining (Way Early)!! At any rate ITS A DISNEY VACATION!!! Have FUN!!!:goodvibes :goodvibes :goodvibes

kathie859
06-03-2007, 10:19 PM
For better or for worse, if one elects to eat on site (DDP or not) you have to plan for it, just like you plan what park to go to what day! I really don't get what the big deal is:confused: At any rate, you can call any time (yes, even the same day) and ask about reservations. I called a few weeks ago for the 1st week in Oct. and got everything I wanted; albeit, not lunch at noon or dinner at 7....but off times. Last March, I called for that day and got a seating at PTC in MGM and I felt lucky. Since I had failed to make an ADR for that day, I realized that I might have to make do with a CS meal.

Someone who goes to Disney without considering ADR's is the same person who goes and never makes it out of the MK--not realizing there's more to WDW than just the MK:wizard: :rolleyes:

kimberh
06-04-2007, 12:02 AM
Are you talking about the IPO Cast Members who make the ADR's ahead of time for Concierge guests before they arrive at WDW, or the Cast Members who work on the Club Level Floors in the Deluxe Resorts? We have only dealt with the Cast Members who work on the Club Level Floors and like I said before when we ask them for an ADR they look in computer and when they see times that are available, then they ask us what time we would like? So they have never had to call a restaurant and pull some strings or anything like that to get us an ADR.

I'm asking you about Concierge, I have never even considered spending the money to stay Concierge. I do own DVC, So now, that AKV's has Concierge, I am going to work hard to secure one of the limited reservations. Just looking at your trips coming for this year, are you telling me, that you are not going to secure any ADR's for Christmas?

Back to those, that don't plan... We own our own business, it is successful. Our Motto is: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. This is in life... period. My husband said tonight, "why did I actually care if someone, that I was never going to meet, made a ADR or not," It is the fact, that some led others to believe, it is the Norm not to, It is the Norm to! People that travel to Disney, on a regular basis, have learned the system. We need not lead people astray.
How many people read these posts and never reply, but take what they learn and apply it to their trips? Hundreds... more?

CR Resort Fan 4 Life
06-04-2007, 07:52 PM
Just looking at your trips coming for this year, are you telling me, that you are not going to secure any ADR's for Christmas?
Last December we went to WDW the exact same days we are going this December and we made a grand total of 0 ADR's and guess what, we did not go hungry. Most of the time we ate offsite and the times onsite we went to the Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney just by walking in and other times we went to various counter service locations.

So to answer your question I don't think we will make any ADR's for this December because we plan to do what we did last December. If for some reason there is a place in WDW we want to try then we will make the ADR's with the Polynesian Concierge Cast Members, because in the past when we have ADR's around Christmas we always got them at the last minute.

BethR
06-04-2007, 08:32 PM
Last December we went to WDW the exact same days we are going this December and we made a grand total of 0 ADR's and guess what, we did not go hungry. Most of the time we ate offsite and the times onsite we went to the Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney just by walking in and other times we went to various counter service locations.


Then surely you did not have the DDP. :confused3 If anyone has the DDP, then I would highly encourage ADRs - at least for most of the days.

CR Resort Fan 4 Life
06-04-2007, 08:38 PM
Then surely you did not have the DDP. :confused3 If anyone has the DDP, then I would highly encourage ADRs - at least for most of the days.We have never purchased the DDP for two reasons. 1st We hate making ADR's 180 days away because we won't know until the actual day of where we want to eat. 2nd Since we will be getting Concierge service with all the foods that they offer, it's not worth it to get the DDP.

akalittleeva
06-04-2007, 08:45 PM
I think that how frequently you go to WDW may change your attitude in feeling the need to make ADRs - if I were able to go a few times a year, I don't think I would feel the urgency to make ADRs - especially for the whole trip, maybe a couple hard to get or new/fave places because you can always say, well maybe next time if you don't get lucky without the ADRs, because next time isn't that far away...but for people like me who only go every 3-5 years, we want to get the most out of every day because the trips are so few and far between. If I went often, then it wouldn't be that big a deal...We have gone twice and had ADRs for LeCellier both times and I have yet to eat there - in 2001, we could only get a late ADR and ended up cancelling because it was too late for our then preschoolers. Last November, I ended up getting very sick and missed the ADR, but the rest of the family really enjoyed it (I tried to get another ADR for while we were there, but they were booked solid)...so by the time we go back in probably 2010 and after 9 years, I will hopefully be lucky enough to finally try it and trust me, I will not leave it to chance...I will be making my ADR early.

BethR
06-04-2007, 08:47 PM
Two very valid reasons for not doing the DDP. ::yes:: (Although we are still booking for our trip at the end of July and have not had much trouble getting what we want when we want it.)

But for those who DO have the DDP, I highly encourage doing ADRs.

CR Resort Fan 4 Life
06-04-2007, 08:50 PM
Two very valid reasons for not doing the DDP. ::yes:: (Although we are still booking for our trip at the end of July and have not had much trouble getting what we want when we want it.)

But for those who DO have the DDP, I highly encourage doing ADRs.I agree that those who do purchase the DDP, ADR's should be made. If someone did purchase the DDP then what's the point of using it if they did not make ADR's? Correct me if I am wrong but wouldn't someone who did not make ADR's on the DDP be left to use their credits at counter service locations?

kribit
06-04-2007, 08:54 PM
I always love to read the differing opinions on the Disney Dining Plan. I like the flexibility of not having to pull out my credit card for everything and I think the value is pretty decent. Truthfully, I really don't like making reservations but our next trip I'm "sucking it up" and making a couple. :)

pavil
06-04-2007, 09:02 PM
I agree that those who do purchase the DDP, ADR's should be made. If someone did purchase the DDP then what's the point of using it if they did not make ADR's? Correct me if I am wrong but wouldn't someone who did not make ADR's on the DDP be left to use their credits at counter service locations?


They would be left looking for the "scraps" of what restaurants and times were available. They would either have to CS it or have a very early or late dinner or a dinner at a place that wasn't their first choice.

If I had Concierge level I would not do the dining plan either, waste of money like you said. If you have the dining plan, make tentative ADR's at the very least, that way you always have somewhere to dine where it is your choice. If you decide to dine elsewhere you have that flexibility as well. To me, that is the best solution to the problem of overcrowded Park restaurants.

BethR
06-04-2007, 09:03 PM
Correct me if I am wrong but wouldn't someone who did not make ADR's on the DDP be left to use their credits at counter service locations?

There is absolutely no guarantee that you can use Table Service Credits at Counter Service places. Disney offered this last year during Free Dining at several places (like the Pop Food Court) where people supposedly got a stepped up counter service meal in exchange for a table service credit.

But if people use TS credits for CS (if it WAS permitted) then there is no way that they could get the full value of the plan. IMO, they would be losing money. So it only makes sense that those who have the DDP plan ahead so that they can make wise use of their credits.

LorilieMarie
06-05-2007, 10:32 AM
There is absolutely no guarantee that you can use Table Service Credits at Counter Service places. .


Sorry, but for the past 4 years this was not a problem at all. They have always allowed CS in place of TS. Why wouldn't they? You can't just lose a meal ticket because you couln't get into a nicer place. :thumbsup2

kaytieeldr
06-05-2007, 11:05 AM
Sure you can (lose out on using credits if you can't get into any table service restaurant; or if you only eat one meal a day so end your trip with a dozen counter service credits; or just don't use all your snack credits; or any combination of the above).

Just for general information, the Disney Dining Plan in its current incarnation - one Snack credit, one Counter/Quick Service credit, one Table Service credit per person per night of the Disney vacation - started January 2, 2005, so whatever happened during the nineteen months before that has no bearing on the DDP. Plus, the only time TS credits were officially able to be used for Counter Service was during the 2006 Free DDP promotion period. Sure, there have been reports of Guests being permitted to use TS credits in their resorts' food courts, but that's based on decisions made by the individual resort management, not official policy.

Lewisc
06-05-2007, 12:10 PM
I agree that those who do purchase the DDP, ADR's should be made. If someone did purchase the DDP then what's the point of using it if they did not make ADR's? Correct me if I am wrong but wouldn't someone who did not make ADR's on the DDP be left to use their credits at counter service locations?

Concierge level guests can generally use their concierge to get "hard to get" last minute ADR's.

Otherwise guests who want to dine at popular restaurants like Chef Mickey's and Le Cellier need an ADR even if they're not on the plan.

DDP guests who don't have an ADR can just ask what restaurant's have availability. Theme park restaurants may be booked but restaurants like Yacht Club Gallery, Kona and Mayan (CSR) may be available on short notice. Restaurants like WCC and Boma are known to accommodate walk ups who get there when the restaurant opens.

monami7
06-05-2007, 12:37 PM
Sorry, but for the past 4 years this was not a problem at all. They have always allowed CS in place of TS. Why wouldn't they? You can't just lose a meal ticket because you couln't get into a nicer place. :thumbsup2

They actually told us we could not do this in Norway. That was this past Dec.
Heidi

Amy&Dan
06-05-2007, 02:23 PM
They actually told us we could not do this in Norway. That was this past Dec.
Heidi


The only way I have ever heard of to swap ts credits for cs ones is to have your resort do it for you. They must make the adjustment. You cannot go up to a cs place and have them swapped. They don't have the capability to do this at the registers.

princess jackie
06-05-2007, 02:40 PM
We never get the DDP because it is way too much food for us. Plus all of us are very picky eaters with different ideas as to whats eatable. More often than not we grab pretzles and pop corn or other snacks through out the day. We only make ADR's for special occations like Charater Breakfast at CRT. Or our anniversary dinner at CRT. Even though we mostly eat CS meals we still try to eat at off times so that we don't have to fight for a table and wait in line forever for the food.

JimMIA
06-05-2007, 02:56 PM
Sorry, but for the past 4 years this was not a problem at all. They have always allowed CS in place of TS. Why wouldn't they? You can't just lose a meal ticket because you couln't get into a nicer place. :thumbsup2As Katieeldr correctly points out, this is both risky logic and factually inaccurate. Even the "new" DDP has undergone radical changes in the last six months -- let alone four YEARS.

To assume something that might have happened in the past will always happen in the future is really foolish. Everything at Disney is in a constant state of change -- that's one of the biggest reasons many of us frequent the DIS.

And of course you can lose credits if you don't use them. If I lose credits because I didn't make ADR's and couldn't get in a TS restaurant...whose bad is that? It's my bad...certainly not Disney's.

Disneydad99
06-05-2007, 04:08 PM
We have used DDP 2x's not including our upcoming trip:cool1: (which we have DDP) We only paid for it once and it was the best plan all 3 Meals were TS and we did make some ADR's but were able to walk up and get a table. But this was 7yrs ago and Disney has changed:rolleyes: If I had to pay for DDP it would be a tough decision because of cost and options but since Disney started the free DDP:banana: it is GREAT!!! We are staying 9 nights in sept going into oct as we did last year and the great thing is you can save your snacks and use them during the FOOD & Wine Festival to try out all the food!!!:dance3: :banana: :cool1: :dance3: That said I would still call 180 days out to make my favorite ADR's even if I had no plan at all! We LOVE Le Cellier and could only 1 adr there this year and none last year.:rotfl2:

kimberh
06-05-2007, 04:28 PM
Last December we went to WDW the exact same days we are going this December and we made a grand total of 0 ADR's and guess what, we did not go hungry. Most of the time we ate offsite and the times onsite we went to the Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney just by walking in and other times we went to various counter service locations.

So to answer your question I don't think we will make any ADR's for this December because we plan to do what we did last December. If for some reason there is a place in WDW we want to try then we will make the ADR's with the Polynesian Concierge Cast Members, because in the past when we have ADR's around Christmas we always got them at the last minute.

I have been doing some thinking, I feel like I have been conversing with one of my teenage children, how old are you?

LorilieMarie
06-05-2007, 05:16 PM
Just for general information, the Disney Dining Plan in its current incarnation - one Snack credit, one Counter/Quick Service credit, one Table Service credit per person per night of the Disney vacation - started January 2, 2005, so whatever happened during the nineteen months before that has no bearing on the DDP. Plus, the only time TS credits were officially able to be used for Counter Service was during the 2006 Free DDP promotion period. Sure, there have been reports of Guests being permitted to use TS credits in their resorts' food courts, but that's based on decisions made by the individual resort management, not official policy.

:confused3 Ok, I can admit when I'm wrong. First of all, my sister-in-law said you can use the TS for CS for her last 4 TRIPS, I thought she said years. My last two trips 06 & 05, on the free dining plan, I was told I can use TS of CS anywhere, and I did at a couple of places with no problem. I just called Disney Dining and they said that NO TS can be used for CS and they never have been able to. :confused3

Good thing I made a TS res for everyday:)

CR Resort Fan 4 Life
06-05-2007, 06:28 PM
Concierge level guests can generally use their concierge to get "hard to get" last minute ADR's.You are correct because in the past we have used the Cast Members from the Atrium Club floor of the Contemporary to get us last minute ADR's at Chef Mickey's, Ohana and Boma, which are three restaurants that I consider to be very popular in WDW.

CR Resort Fan 4 Life
06-05-2007, 06:29 PM
I have been doing some thinking, I feel like I have been conversing with one of my teenage children, how old are you?I am 22 years old, so I am not a teenager. Besides if you look at the questions you asked me I answerd them, so that should have nothing to do with my age.

Disneymucks
06-05-2007, 06:38 PM
I think most of the people on here who complain about restaurant availability need to to some planning and make the adrs I mean the rest of us do it so I guess I feel like they could do some homework to. If you dont "STUDY" ( make ADRS) the I guess you "FAIL THE TEST!" (Dont get your pick of were to eat.) Just my two cents.:laughing: :laughing: :idea:

want2bamommy
06-05-2007, 06:40 PM
I don't plan my days around my reservations, I plan my reservations around my days. First you have to look at the calendar to see what days have extra magic hours, if you know you will be there that day, book a res for that day. If you want a free day, book it somewhere more Central (like a resort inbetween the parks) and make them for late so you know you will be tired and hungry from whatever park you chose to go to. The worse thing that can happen is you decide not to make your reservation. I hope you can go again and do it right:thumbsup2

This is exactly what I do and it works out perfectly.

Missie

disneyquilter
06-05-2007, 06:59 PM
I think most of the people on here who complain about restaurant availability need to to some planning and make the adrs I mean the rest of us do it so I guess I feel like they could do some homework to. If you dont "STUDY" ( make ADRS) the I guess you "FAIL THE TEST!" (Dont get your pick of were to eat.) Just my two cents.:laughing: :laughing: :idea:

:lmao: :lmao:

I totally agree with you, Disneymucks!

MisunderstoodLilo
06-05-2007, 07:05 PM
Before the dining plan, I tried making ADRs and sticking to them, but I can't plan months in advance when I'm going to be hungry.

I won't use the dining plan, even when it's free. I'll take my chances on a walk up table service resturant, but if I can't get in, that's fine too! The counter service meals are fine for us!

To the OP...I'm sorry things didn't work out the way you had hoped. It sounds like you knew there was a slim chance to not get into places, but ended up being surprised when you couldn't get anywhere at all.

dannyh23
06-05-2007, 07:22 PM
You are correct because in the past we have used the Cast Members from the Atrium Club floor of the Contemporary to get us last minute ADR's at Chef Mickey's, Ohana and Boma, which are three restaurants that I consider to be very popular in WDW.

Just because last minute ADR's worked in the past for you in the CR Atrium Club doesn't mean it will now for everyone else, especially those who aren't as "lucky" as you are to stay in concierge.

To suggest to anyone that last minute ADR's work and that it's not necessary to make ADR's in advance is bad advice.

CR Resort Fan 4 Life
06-05-2007, 07:36 PM
Just because last minute ADR's worked in the past for you in the CR Atrium Club doesn't mean it will now for everyone else, especially those who aren't as "lucky" as you are to stay in concierge.

To suggest to anyone that last minute ADR's work and that it's not necessary to make ADR's in advance is bad advice.I never suggested to anyone to make all their ADR's at the last minute. All I said was my family and I have had no problems making them for ourselves at the last minute. If we decide to make ADR's again at last minute while at WDW either in August or December and we are told nonthing is available, it won't bother us that much because we don't mind eating offsite or at counter service locations.

kimberh
06-05-2007, 07:54 PM
I never suggested to anyone to make all their ADR's at the last minute. All I said was my family and I have had no problems making them for ourselves at the last minute. If we decide to make ADR's again at last minute while at WDW either in August or December and we are told nonthing is available, it won't bother us that much because we don't mind eating offsite or at counter service locations.

This is my last post on this, this thread is about the Disney Dining Plan...You have gave bad advice period!You have stated that you and your family did not use the DDP. Thank goodness others have posted the truth. If a family buys the DDP and decides to not plan, they have made the decision to possibly waste some of their TS credits, which is a waste of money. Something you and your family have not experienced. Now, I am not getting into another debate with you, since it is not your money being spent at Disney.

Enjoy each and every trip!

CR Resort Fan 4 Life
06-05-2007, 08:01 PM
This is my last post on this, this thread is about the Disney Dining Plan...You have gave bad advice period!You have stated that you and your family did not use the DDP. Thank goodness others have posted the truth. If a family buys the DDP and decides to not plan, they have made the decision to possibly waste some of their TS credits, which is a waste of money. Something you and your family have not experienced. Now, I am not getting into another debate with you, since it is not your money being spent at Disney.

Enjoy each and every trip!I don't consider it to be advice when I say what my family and I have done in terms of getting ADR's. I was only explaining that in the past we have had no problems getting them at the last minute. So I never said for anyone else to follow our strategy, in fact in an earlier reply I said for anyone who purchases the DDP should make ADR's before they arrive, because if they don't what is the purpose of using the DDP?

scottny
06-05-2007, 08:05 PM
ding ding

everyone back to yuor corners. LOL

everyone handles there vacations different can we just agree on that.

CR Resort Fan 4 Life
06-05-2007, 08:08 PM
This was my reply from page 9 where I said for those who purchase the DDP that ADR's should be made in advance.

I agree that those who do purchase the DDP, ADR's should be made. If someone did purchase the DDP then what's the point of using it if they did not make ADR's? Correct me if I am wrong but wouldn't someone who did not make ADR's on the DDP be left to use their credits at counter service locations?

asianway
06-05-2007, 08:09 PM
We called all month for a Boma ADR all week during Memorial Day and couldnt get one. Then at 2pm the same day we got one for 5pm.

Im wondering if they may not hold a couple back.

CR Resort Fan 4 Life
06-05-2007, 08:14 PM
We called all month for a Boma ADR all week during Memorial Day and couldnt get one. Then at 2pm the same day we got one for 5pm.

Im wondering if they may not hold a couple back.I am not sure if they hold a couple of tables back. If I were to guess someone cancelled their ADR at the last minute and you were lucky enough to get it when you asked if one was available.

dannyh23
06-05-2007, 08:19 PM
All I said was my family and I have had no problems making them for ourselves at the last minute.

Last December we went to WDW the exact same days we are going this December and we made a grand total of 0 ADR's


You are correct because in the past we have used the Cast Members from the Atrium Club floor of the Contemporary to get us last minute ADR's at Chef Mickey's, Ohana and Boma....

I don't think we will make any ADR's for this December because we plan to do what we did last December. If for some reason there is a place in WDW we want to try then we will make the ADR's with the Polynesian Concierge Cast Members, because in the past when we have ADR's around Christmas we always got them at the last minute.

So I get this straight... You made last minute ADR's yourself... or you didn't make any ADR's... or you had Concierge make last minute ADR's for you... and on this trip you are not going to make any, but you still think you'll be OK and maybe at the last minute you'll have Concierge make some for you because it's always worked for you in the past. All replies are totally different but in this same thread.

Some people do not drive to WDW, do not rent cars, do not want to go offsite to visit the Golden Corral because of prior poor planning, or have access to pretzels and beer in the Concierge Lounge in case they can't eat at a TS place.

You state that making last minute ADR's works for you, and always works for you. To suggest such a thing to a DDP guest could result in disaster, and is bad advice.

LorilieMarie
06-05-2007, 08:26 PM
I won't use the dining plan, even when it's free. I'll take my chances on a walk up table service resturant, but if I can't get in, that's fine too! The counter service meals are fine for us!

Does this mean if you get a Table Service or walk up to counter service, you would pay for it instead of getting it for free?:confused:

CR Resort Fan 4 Life
06-05-2007, 08:27 PM
So I get this straight... You made last minute ADR's yourself... or you didn't make any ADR's... or you had Concierge make last minute ADR's for you... and on this trip you are not going to make any, but you still think you'll be OK and maybe at the last minute you'll have Concierge make some for you because it's always worked for you in the past. All replies are totally different but in this same thread.

Some people do not drive to WDW, do not rent cars, do not want to go offsite to visit the Golden Corral because of prior poor planning, or have access to pretzels and beer in the Concierge Lounge in case they can't eat at a TS place.

You state that making last minute ADR's works for you, and always works for you. To suggest such a thing to a DDP guest could result in disaster, and is bad advice.On previous trips we have made last minute ADR's and on other trips we have not made any ADR's. As of right now I don't see us making any ADR's for our trip and August, however if we change our minds to try a restaurant in WDW we will ask the Cast Members on the Atrium Club to make the ADR. If it turns out we can't get the ADR we won't be disappointed because from the start we never expected to eat at any WDW restaurant where you need to make an ADR.

Finally I posted my reply from before where if a family purchases the DDP that they should make their ADR's in advance, because if they don't then what is the purpose of using it?

So once again I never stated to anyone else on this thread that they should make their ADR's at the last minute. All I said was that has worked out for my family and I, so if it works for us only then I don't see a problem here.

dannyh23
06-05-2007, 09:17 PM
All I said was that has worked out for my family and I, so if it works for us only then I don't see a problem here.

As many posters have already suggested, even WAY back on Page 2, your parents story is not relevant to the thread as you were not DDP guests. Your parents were paying big big $$$$ for you to stay at Atrium Club so you could eat "free" snacks, plus you always had the backup option of the Golden Corral. Most DDP guests do not have the means (or desire!) to replicate your particular scenario.

To state that zero, or even last minute ADR's have always worked for you in the past and will work for you in the future paints a false image to ANY guest (regardless if DDP or not) who came into this thread wondering if zero or last minute ADR's are good enough for TS locations.

Like Kimberh said, I'm done on this thread... I'm not going to get bad boy points by arguing with you.

Last minute or zero ADR's simply do not work for a vast, vast majority of guests, even though that method has always worked for your non-DDP family because you had other backup options at your disposal.

ballarinamom
06-05-2007, 09:29 PM
[QUOTE=I won't use the dining plan, even when it's free. I'll take my chances on a walk up table service resturant, but if I can't get in, that's fine too! The counter service meals are fine for us![/QUOTE]

I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THIS. YOU WILL BE EATING ATLEAST ONE MORSEL OR DRINKING ONE DRINK WHILE IN THE PARKS RIGHT?? SO WHY NOT USE THE PLAN?!?!??!!?!?!?!?!?! I don't understand why some people have to totally trash a good thing. FREE IS FREE!!

AND REMEMBER_
If you fail to plan you plan to fail

CR Resort Fan 4 Life
06-05-2007, 10:11 PM
As many posters have already suggested, even WAY back on Page 2, your parents story is not relevant to the thread as you were not DDP guests. Your parents were paying big big $$$$ for you to stay at Atrium Club so you could eat "free" snacks, plus you always had the backup option of the Golden Corral. Most DDP guests do not have the means (or desire!) to replicate your particular scenario.

To state that zero, or even last minute ADR's have always worked for you in the past and will work for you in the future paints a false image to ANY guest (regardless if DDP or not) who came into this thread wondering if zero or last minute ADR's are good enough for TS locations.

Like Kimberh said, I'm done on this thread... I'm not going to get bad boy points by arguing with you.

Last minute or zero ADR's simply do not work for a vast, vast majority of guests, even though that method has always worked for your non-DDP family because you had other backup options at your disposal.If you that way then there is nothing I can say to change your mind. What I will say is that it was not fair to accuse me of saying to everyone to make their ADR's at the last minute, when I never said that anywhere in this whole thread.

JimMIA
06-05-2007, 10:36 PM
Anyone who tries to engage in a debate with a child should learn to use some of the helpful features of the DISboards. One of the people here is a kid.

Lewisc
06-05-2007, 10:43 PM
Is the glass half full or half empty?

A person without an advanced ADR would have been able to get a same day ADR at 2 restaurants for dinner and the majority of restaurants for lunch without having to leave EPCOT Le Cellier and Chef Mickey's were impossible last minute ADRs prior to the dining plan.

I agree guests should book advanced ADRs, to get their first choice but it's not fair to say guests who don't get ADRs in advance will get stuck with CS meals.


Just be advised that you will be limited in your choices. For example on a Saturday in Mid May at Epcot Guest Services at 12:00 was full at almost every dinner spot for TS dining ( I think there were 2 restaurants with openings) and about 3/4 full in lunch openings for TS lunches (4 or so). That whole week, even though it was pretty slow for Disney I Could not get into Boma at a normal dinner time(5-8), nor could I get Chef Mickeys. Sure you can luck out and get an ADR, it will just be the exception rather than the rule. Things are only bound to be harder when it comes to peak season if it is hard at relatively slow times.

It's not a scare tactic, just helpful advice. If you want to eat at a certain spot on a certain day at a certain time, make an ADR. If not, then wing it and be happy where you end up.

CR Resort Fan 4 Life
06-05-2007, 10:54 PM
I agree guests should book advanced ADRs, to get their first choice but it's not fair to say guests who don't get ADRs in advance will get stuck with CS meals.I agree that it's not a fair thing to say because if some guests had to get a CS meal, there are some good places in WDW which have a wide variety on thier menus. Two places that come to mind is Earl of Sandwich and Wolfgang Pucks Express in Downtown Disney. They are not your standard Cheeseburger and Hot Dog place, because their menus offer a lot more then that.

Lewisc
06-05-2007, 10:57 PM
My point was guests can generally get a last minute ADR if they're flexible. I'm thinking of restaurants like Spoodles, Yacht Club Gallery, even the micro-brewery at the Boardwalk. Even Chefs de France is frequently has ADRs available on short notice.

Guests looking to "stretch" a CS credit should consider the Pepper Market (CSR) or the food court in the Land.


I agree that it's not a fair thing to say because if some guests had to get a CS meal, there are some good places in WDW which have a wide variety on thier menus. Two places that come to mind is Earl of Sandwich and Wolfgang Pucks Express in Downtown Disney. They are not your standard Cheeseburger and Hot Dog place, because their menus offer a lot more then that.

Nancyg56
06-06-2007, 06:39 AM
We called all month for a Boma ADR all week during Memorial Day and couldnt get one. Then at 2pm the same day we got one for 5pm.

Im wondering if they may not hold a couple back.

On our first trip I had asked IPO at AKL to make our ADR's. The concierge explained how the process worked, and I think I remember her telling me that some are opened at different stages, the last as late as 3 days out. My memory is a bit hazy but I left that conversation thinking that the restaurants do not open them all up at one time.

PlutoLuvr
06-06-2007, 09:06 AM
I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THIS. YOU WILL BE EATING ATLEAST ONE MORSEL OR DRINKING ONE DRINK WHILE IN THE PARKS RIGHT?? SO WHY NOT USE THE PLAN?!?!??!!?!?!?!?!?! I don't understand why some people have to totally trash a good thing. FREE IS FREE!!

AND REMEMBER_
If you fail to plan you plan to fail

Free is not free when you have to book a package and stay onsite. I know I'll eat a meal, some drinks and some snacks in WDW during our Sept trip (which coincides with free DDP), but I'm using a bonus week at my timeshare. Free! There's no way I'd give up seven nights free in a three-bedroom condo to have to pack rack rates (or even AAA rates) for a WDW hotel -- and then have to buy another park ticket, in addition to the AP I just bought last month, to even qualify for the "free" DDP.

So it isn't a matter of just, "If you're going to eat at WDW, use the plan." Free is definitely not free. If you'd be staying onsite anyway and it works with your dining style, it's a great option. But if you prefer to stay offsite, it really doesn't make financial sense.

Suzanne74
06-06-2007, 09:18 AM
I am not sure if this is mentioned but October is a much lighter month at Disney then Memorial Day weekend.

Also, everyone thought Disney was crazy offering free dining the past few Septembers but I think prior to that, their restaurants (besides main character meals) were having a hard time getting clients in. Now that the dining plan has been out a few years and people have had a taste for it, more people will not only pay for the dining plan but also still eat at some favorites even if they didn't purchase the dining plan.

I understand not wanting to plan every nook and cranny of a vacation and sometimes people say I am crazy for overplanning WDW but in the end my husband especially thanks me for it. Disney peak season - everything is packed and with the dining plan, so will the restaurants now. You just have to get used to it from here on out.

Nancyg56
06-06-2007, 09:22 AM
My point was guests can generally get a last minute ADR if they're flexible. I'm thinking of restaurants like Spoodles, Yacht Club Gallery, even the micro-brewery at the Boardwalk. Even Chefs de France is frequently has ADRs available on short notice.

Guests looking to "stretch" a CS credit should consider the Pepper Market (CSR) or the food court in the Land.

An acquaintance of mine was at Disney over Memorial Day. She did not know about the DDP or about ADR's so she had none. I thought that her family would starve.;). They had dinner at WCC and Artists point. I don't know where else. I'm sure that they had more CS than I like but they came home with wonderful trip memories of Disney.

While this doesn't work for my family, I think it can be done.

auntie
06-06-2007, 09:27 AM
While we just tried the dining plan for the first time..and loved it. I wouldn't consider going during the so called "free dining"...we actually cancelled our trip for this time period last year..as I didn't make ADR's 6 mos. out, (and nothing we wanted was available at 3 months out). Also...we were supposed to stay at a Deluxe on site resort...and the dining isn't as "free"...if you are paying full rack rate for the rooms. (We had two). So...we rescheduled for May...got a discount pin mailer...and then added the dining paying the $40.00 per person, per day...and it was GREAT! First time using it..and my family LOVED it! For the sheer convenience of it alone, my husband enjoyed not having to open his wallet and the kids(all adults on the plan) loved being able to order whatever they wanted. We did do some planing and secured ADR's ....but because it wasn't during a "free" dining prom...I didn't have to do it 6 months out..., and we pretty much got whatever we wanted. For me...and I'm just speaking for myself, it was alot less stressful to plan for a trip when it wasn't during a free dining promo, as we had more options and time slots available to us. Even there in May...I did see people turned away from restaurants without them, and yet we did also make changes while we were there...but that's a crap shoot. If you are willing to eat wherever they can fit you in during a free dining promotion, then I guess you could just wing it..but frankly, I'd find that more stressful, than doing a bit of planning. I mean I don't plan every morsel of food that goes into our mouths...but planing at least one table servic meal a day..wasn't a big deal. You are talking 7 reservations..if you keep them fine..if you don't..you don't. You can always cancel. I have been going with our family to Disney since '91...and never thought I'd be a "fan of the Plan"...but I have to admit..it was a good value for our group...and really took a minimal amount of planing. With the popularity of the Dining Plan, I would recommend to anyone going to Disney..whether they are using the plan or not..to book some ADR's..and if you keep them fine..if not..just cancel.

Disneydad99
06-06-2007, 10:13 AM
Plutoluver:
I know you are going to have a great Disney off site vacation!! :goodvibes My family and I have had many wonderful Disney vacations in a Timeshare Condo, BUT it wasn't FREE:mad: we had to pay monthly payments on the purchase of the time share and we had to pay annual maintenance fees and housekeeping fees while we where their!! We started staying on property about 8 yrs ago (this is our 17th trip as a family:dance3: , although some of us weren't born during all of them and some of us had a free ride in their mommy's belly) we sold our time share and paid for 2 trips and we have LOVED staying in the Kingdom:cool1: :cool1: This year and last we are staying in sept under the free DDP and only had a problem with 1 restaurant Le Celier we got all the other TS's we wanted we are staying 9:banana: nights @POR as we did last year and with a 10 day park hopper for 4adults(as Disney says 10 & up are adults)and 1 kid and DDP our vacation is a whopping $2795 :banana: :banana: :banana: where else could you go for that time with free meals and stay!!! by the way we are having 3 character breakfasts and eating at the Coral Reef, Le Celier, Narcoosee's Wolf Gang Pucks, Brown Derby & Mitsokushi holy cow we are going to be FAT! Good luck on your trip have a great time :woohoo:

Disneydad99
06-06-2007, 10:16 AM
:rotfl2: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :rotfl: :yay: :cool1:

ballarinamom
06-06-2007, 10:19 AM
Free is not free when you have to book a package and stay onsite. I know I'll eat a meal, some drinks and some snacks in WDW during our Sept trip (which coincides with free DDP), but I'm using a bonus week at my timeshare. Free! There's no way I'd give up seven nights free in a three-bedroom condo to have to pack rack rates (or even AAA rates) for a WDW hotel -- and then have to buy another park ticket, in addition to the AP I just bought last month, to even qualify for the "free" DDP.

So it isn't a matter of just, "If you're going to eat at WDW, use the plan." Free is definitely not free. If you'd be staying onsite anyway and it works with your dining style, it's a great option. But if you prefer to stay offsite, it really doesn't make financial sense.

Your not even eligible for free dining anyway! So why would someone bash something they can't even get? I don't understand why there has to be comments made about free dining or the dining plan by people who aren't eligible. It's just a mut point

Lewisc
06-06-2007, 10:40 AM
Most of the DDP bashing is from a handful of posters that don't like the fact that they can no longer get last minute ADRs. They don't like having to share "their" restaurants with:

sloppily dressed patrons and tired, bored and noisy kids

The biggest bashers are from people who aren't eligible for the dining plan.


Your not even eligible for free dining anyway! So why would someone bash something they can't even get? I don't understand why there has to be comments made about free dining or the dining plan by people who aren't eligible. It's just a mut point

PlutoLuvr
06-06-2007, 10:59 AM
Your not even eligible for free dining anyway! So why would someone bash something they can't even get? I don't understand why there has to be comments made about free dining or the dining plan by people who aren't eligible. It's just a mut point

Um, excuse me, but if you'll read BOTH of my posts on this thread (including No. 49), you'll see that in no way have I bashed the DDP. I responded to the OP in post 49 sympathizing about the ADR situation, how it doesn't matter if you're on the DDP or not, you still have to make ADRs if you have a "must-do," and wishing her well that anything she feels she has to settle on will end up being a future must-do gem for her family.

My post this morning simply brought up the fact that during the hurricane months, the DDP is not free. Jesus. I even said in my last paragraph it's a GREAT OPTION if it fits your dining style and you'd be staying onsite anyway.

I could really care less about the DDP thread. No, I'm not eligible this trip, but, face it, we all eat or drink at some point on property. Plus, I posted when this thread first came up, a supportive post for the OP (read it why don't you?) -- which only pointed out the importance of ADRs with or without the plan -- and I keep getting email notifications every time there's a new post.

Like you, I'm confused by posters who are so quick to jump the gun and see only what they want to in any given post. It's really mut -- or moot.

skater
06-06-2007, 11:38 AM
I LOVE the dining plan and will enjoy it free for the 3rd time this Sept. We are able to eat at places we normally could not afford. The only restaurant I had trouble getting was Le Cellier and with flexibility were able to make our ADR. We were even able to make last minute changes while on property last Sept. Without the dining plan, we would eat a sit down meal once or twice for our entire trip. With the dining plan, we enjoy a worry free 10 day vacation and don't have to constantly say No to our kids.

Saying all that, I can understand how those who can afford those meals without the dining plan might feel resentful if restaurants are harder to get into. I haven't been going to Disney in a big way for enough years to know how big the difference is, but I'm guessing that meals take much more planning now. If I was a little wealthier, I might resent that too. (Although I do so enjoy the planning! :banana: )

Like everything else, I guess its a matter of perspective. :)

avagrace
06-06-2007, 12:03 PM
Can anyone tell me if the Premium or Platinum plans are worth the extra expense? Planning a trip w/ wife and twin 7 y/o girls for 11/25- 12/01 ( week after Thanksgiving. Happy to spend the extra if it will improve the experience.

Disneydad99
06-06-2007, 12:36 PM
Can anyone tell me if the Premium or Platinum plans are worth the extra expense? Planning a trip w/ wife and twin 7 y/o girls for 11/25- 12/01 ( week after Thanksgiving. Happy to spend the extra if it will improve the experience.

My wife and I went on the Platinum plan in 2001 without the kids we short booked and got all the TS we wanted (Not sure but I think Platinum gets priority) we had Lobster with every meal, every breakfast was a character breakfast it was great:cool1: if you can afford it go for it!!!!!:thumbsup2

DisneyBride'03
06-06-2007, 01:06 PM
avagrace...no experience w/plat or prem plans.....

Just had to comment on your "name"....I have an Ava Grace, she will turn 1 this month:) Just wondering are those the names of your girls? :)

Have a great trip!! You will definately get answers and/or opinions here!:)
Welcome to the DisBoards!

avagrace
06-06-2007, 02:30 PM
Yup

Mickeyluver37
06-06-2007, 05:06 PM
I am not sure what the dining plan had to do with your problems. You failed to plan and therefore planned to fail. It doesn't seem like it was a lack of knowledge on your part that you should make ADRs. You just chose not to. Had you been on the dining plan or not, you would have still faced the same issues without reservations.

I don't think anyone can deny that the lack of ADR's is a direct result of the Dining Plan. Look how many people proudly boast that they used to eat Ramen and crackers in the room and CS only because they were "too cheap" to book TS. I don't love or hate the plan, and in fact I've never used it- but will this year. But the only ones that seem to *love* it are the ones that have changed their vacationing style drastically just because they could get something free or cheap. If you're used to normally having TS, and all of a sudden can't get ADR's you had no problem with in the past, it's frustrating.

Lewisc
06-06-2007, 05:30 PM
Disney likes full restaurants. Disney has "bean counters" looking to increase profits. I suspect if Disney hadn't come up with the DDP they would have come up with some other promotion to fill the restaurants.

I don't think the dining plan is cheap. I wind up paying more for tickets and may even pay extra for my room. DDP guests pre-pay for their meals and commit to having most of the meals at Disney. I'd expect at least a 20% discount (same as DDE) in exchange for that.

When I'm on the DDP I don't have meals in non-Disney restaurants. That means I may skip a meal at Bongos. I won't have a late breakfast at Fresh. I'm less likely to buy a case of bottled water.

The DDP is reasonable but Ramen and crackers in the room is still cheaper. You may have a point if you're limiting your comments to free dining.

Many of us just find DDP means we're eating 100% of our meals on-site and maybe have an extra TS meal.


I don't think anyone can deny that the lack of ADR's is a direct result of the Dining Plan. Look how many people proudly boast that they used to eat Ramen and crackers in the room and CS only because they were "too cheap" to book TS. I don't love or hate the plan, and in fact I've never used it- but will this year. But the only ones that seem to *love* it are the ones that have changed their vacationing style drastically just because they could get something free or cheap. If you're used to normally having TS, and all of a sudden can't get ADR's you had no problem with in the past, it's frustrating.

ballarinamom
06-06-2007, 05:48 PM
We saw DDP as a benefit. We prefer atleast one TS per day. We used CS for breakfast and used TS credits for dinner and did oop for lunch sometimes at TS. So I don't know if we fall under the closet Ramen eaters. But we saw a value in the package since we were already going to dine exclusively at the parks. I did call for ressies at 180 and had no problem getting any of the times or restaurants we wanted. I just followed the recommendations for other DISsers. I'm sure it's frustrating to many repeaters but for us random guests it was awesome.

Disneydad99
06-06-2007, 06:35 PM
I don't think anyone can deny that the lack of ADR's is a direct result of the Dining Plan. Look how many people proudly boast that they used to eat Ramen and crackers in the room and CS only because they were "too cheap" to book TS. I don't love or hate the plan, and in fact I've never used it- but will this year. But the only ones that seem to *love* it are the ones that have changed their vacationing style drastically just because they could get something free or cheap. If you're used to normally having TS, and all of a sudden can't get ADR's you had no problem with in the past, it's frustrating.

We LOVE DDP and I don't believe its new! I used it in 2001 maybe thats new to some & We have not drastically changed our vacationing style except maybe we can go 9 days instead of 6 because of the free DDP we've always (we we could afford to had some lean years) eaten TS and some CS and always have at least 1 Character meals and like some of the others have said We have had no prob getting ADR'S!!:banana: Oh well mickeyluver37 have an awesome DDP trip this year and hopefully Disney will continue to give it away:thumbsup2

Nancyg56
06-06-2007, 08:08 PM
Disney likes full restaurants. Disney has "bean counters" looking to increase profits. I suspect if Disney hadn't come up with the DDP they would have come up with some other promotion to fill the restaurants.

I don't think the dining plan is cheap. I wind up paying more for tickets and may even pay extra for my room. DDP guests pre-pay for their meals and commit to having most of the meals at Disney. I'd expect at least a 20% discount (same as DDE) in exchange for that.

When I'm on the DDP I don't have meals in non-Disney restaurants. That means I may skip a meal at Bongos. I won't have a late breakfast at Fresh. I'm less likely to buy a case of bottled water.

The DDP is reasonable but Ramen and crackers in the room is still cheaper. You may have a point if you're limiting your comments to free dining.

Many of us just find DDP means we're eating 100% of our meals on-site and maybe have an extra TS meal.


Exactly right! It is not cheap and is not appropriate for everyone. My DH says that Disney has devised the perfect way to capture their guests and keep them on their property, spending all of their vacation dollars on Disney products and services. I think he is right.

I know that it is easy to blame the DDP for any changes and for all inconveniences that long time guests see, but I think that if it was not the DDP, another marketing product would be offered to increase volume in restaurants and resorts. This one is a little "devious" because everything is paid for up front, so ordering wine with dinner, spending more in order to have a signature meal or two does not seem to be out of budget, and increases revenue. I think that the "bean counters" know how much this combination of DDP and ME makes and they do a jig to the stockholders meetings.

Disneymucks
06-06-2007, 08:13 PM
The worst part of it is that I love every minute of it and GLADLY give disney as much money as i can....I think the dining plan makes it easier in me one less thing to worry about.;) I go to disney carefree escaping the real world knowing that EVERYTHING including my food is taken care of no matter what im in the mood for. Its almost magical the way they take care of it all like a vacation spot or something....LOL

Mickeyluver37
06-06-2007, 10:00 PM
We LOVE DDP and I don't believe its new! I used it in 2001 maybe thats new to some & We have not drastically changed our vacationing style except maybe we can go 9 days instead of 6 because of the free DDP we've always (we we could afford to had some lean years) eaten TS and some CS and always have at least 1 Character meals and like some of the others have said We have had no prob getting ADR'S!!:banana: Oh well mickeyluver37 have an awesome DDP trip this year and hopefully Disney will continue to give it away:thumbsup2

From what I remember, this version has only been around since 2005. It wasn't available when we first booked our 2005 trip, but was in effect by the time we got there. I had already purchased the AP to get the room discount and we did DDE instead. It wasn't nearly as popular though- we didn't have trouble making ADR's, some even last minute!

Disneydad99
06-06-2007, 10:07 PM
From what I remember, this version has only been around since 2005. It wasn't available when we first booked our 2005 trip, but was in effect by the time we got there. I had already purchased the AP to get the room discount and we did DDE instead. It wasn't nearly as popular though- we didn't have trouble making ADR's, some even last minute!

I see so what we used in 2001 was DDE not DDP I get it now:cool1: I agree it was easier to make last minute changes back then. Last year we only tried to make one change and since there were 2 sets of 5 people (or a party of 10 at every restaurant) it did not work out however we did get every ADR we wanted but 1 and that was Le Celier:confused3

Mickeyluver37
06-06-2007, 10:09 PM
Exactly right! It is not cheap and is not appropriate for everyone. My DH says that Disney has devised the perfect way to capture their guests and keep them on their property, spending all of their vacation dollars on Disney products and services. I think he is right.

I know that it is easy to blame the DDP for any changes and for all inconveniences that long time guests see, but I think that if it was not the DDP, another marketing product would be offered to increase volume in restaurants and resorts. This one is a little "devious" because everything is paid for up front, so ordering wine with dinner, spending more in order to have a signature meal or two does not seem to be out of budget, and increases revenue. I think that the "bean counters" know how much this combination of DDP and ME makes and they do a jig to the stockholders meetings.

They already had us at the ME! We drove/rented cars in the past and *did* venture offsite, even if only for a day.

I don't think the Dining Plan will go anywhere unless Disney actually starts losing money, therefore they really need a few more restaurants to handle the volume.

auntie
06-07-2007, 08:45 AM
Or if they raise the price..? I think the idea that the gratuity was included in the plan was a major part of decision to try it this year...and we loved it. I'm not quite so sure we'd choose it again if we had to add the gratuity. The convenience factor played a big role in our choice. Not having to carry extra cash or figure out the gratuity was a pleasure. I think there are times when the plan isn't for everyone..particuarly if your kids are being charged the adult rates..but still eat like kids..then maybe it's not as great a value either. In our case our youngest is almost 16...and we thought it was a great value for our family.

In any event, as many have stated whether you use the DDP or not, it has effected the Disney vacation. ADR's are the best way to be sure you are going to have that table service meal, and not waste your credits..or if you aren't on the plan..you still know that you have a nice sit down dinner to look forward to..without having to beg, and plead your way into a restaurant.
ADR's during the free dining promo's are a must in my opinion. Sure you can take the chance..and maybe there will be a place you can get into with one, but I wouldn't want to chance it.

kribit
06-07-2007, 09:02 AM
Can someone tell me if the DDP folks get first choice of ADR's? I'm curious, because we're considering not doing the plan next visit.

:)

vickalamode
06-07-2007, 09:07 AM
Can someone tell me if the DDP folks get first choice of ADR's? I'm curious, because we're considering not doing the plan next visit.

:)

I don't believe so, when you call, regardless of if you have DDP or not, they tell you what is available at that particular restaurant.

kaytieeldr
06-07-2007, 09:07 AM
No, nobody gets first choice of reservations based on anything - except when we call for them. A Guest calling 180 days in advance gets first choice over someone calling 90 days or three days or two hours in advance, but no dining plan gives any Guest that priority.

kribit
06-07-2007, 09:13 AM
Thanks guys. I know when I've made the 2 ADR's :laughing: in my lifetime, they asked if I was on Disney Dining. I'm probably going to make a couple more this trip because I actually have a "touring plan." :)

iluvgoofy24
06-07-2007, 09:18 AM
To the OP... I hate to say this, but its your fault for the problems. You knew of ADRs, and you knew how to make them, but YOU chose not to... This is your problem, not disneys, not anyone else, your problem. Had you not been on the DDP, you would still have had the same problem, but the fact that YOU choose not to made ADRs, YOU decided your own fate to risk it, and you paid for it. Had you not come in here and blamed others, i would have felt sorry for you, but honestly, now after reading your post, i soley blame you and your ignorance



i totally agree with this post 110%. you did choose your own fate by not making ADR's. part of the fun in disney is eating at the themed resturants. no one wants to eat chicken fingers, hamburgers etc for the duration of your trip. we have used the dining plan 2 times before and are going to use it when we go down next time and it has saved my family and i tons and tons of hassle and money.

goofy4tink
06-07-2007, 10:24 AM
You are correct because in the past we have used the Cast Members from the Atrium Club floor of the Contemporary to get us last minute ADR's at Chef Mickey's, Ohana and Boma, which are three restaurants that I consider to be very popular in WDW.
Unfortunatly, not everyone stays at a concierge level. Your parents are paying dearly for that kind of service. For the rest of us, we really do need to sit down and figure out what is going to work best for our own family.
So...we own DVC, have APs. No way am I going to take advantage of free dining. If I have to pay for a room, and at least a one day park pass, it's not free for me.
So....since I have the AP, I bought the DDE card. Now, DVC allows it's member staying on points to buy the DDP. I sit down with menus and figure how much I would spend doing it each way. It comes out pretty close, based on my family's eating habits. If the dining plan changes though, in any way, I don't think we would buy it again. It's already about $30 more than using our DDE card but the convenience of it is worth that small amount. But, if they do away with the gratuity or raise the price, it just won't be worth it.

So...do you have to make those ADRs? Only if you have places your really want to eat at. The more popular spots book up very early, always have. The advent of the DDP hasn't helped that at all. Being able to try walking up for a seat is harder and harder. Yes, there are still some spots you can do this in, and more spots if you choose really off times to eat. I realize it's hard to think about where you are going to want to eat 5-6 months before your trip, but at least you'll have a nice restaurant to eat at once a day. If you choose not to do that spot, then just give guest services a call, or stop in, and cancel the ADR.

ha1264
06-07-2007, 10:12 PM
I didn't know my original rant would get this far. I don't know how things were with TS and ADRs in the past. My first trip to WDW was last October was an off time so we got pretty much what we wanted. I had no idea how crowded things could get. You have to make ADRs do not wait. I had to get up every morning and check anything that was available. I will plan next time. I hate to plan but if I want to go to WDW on the DDP I have to. To all who think you can wing it...take it from someone that just came back...You can't. I guess you can wing it during the times when crowds are low. I learned a valuable lesson. We got some good TS meals but we had to really work for it. I will do it the easy way and make the ADRs next time. The DDP is a very good deal. If I would have planned I wouldn't have anything negative to say.

pavil
06-07-2007, 11:32 PM
I'm glad it worked out for you, sort of. I am also glad you found the DIS boards, there is a wealth of information here.

CR Resort Fan 4 Life
06-07-2007, 11:38 PM
Unfortunatly, not everyone stays at a concierge level. Your parents are paying dearly for that kind of service. For the rest of us, we really do need to sit down and figure out what is going to work best for our own family.So are you saying because my family and I stay on a Club Level floor we should feel guilty about how we got some of our ADR's, because others plan them months in advance? The service of getting some of our ADR's at the last minute on the Club Levels is available to all guests staying there if they feel like adding extra ADR's, and I am sure we are not the 1st ones to take advantage of that.

illiniowl
06-08-2007, 01:16 AM
So are you saying because my family and I stay on a Club Level floor we should feel guilty about how we got some of our ADR's, because others plan them months in advance? The service of getting some of our ADR's at the last minute on the Club Levels is available to all guests staying there if they feel like adding extra ADR's, and I am sure we are not the 1st ones to take advantage of that.

Oh please. What people ARE saying is that your experience - not using the DDP, preferring to eat mostly CS or offsite, and using the club level concierge to get any ADRs you do want - is 100% irrelevant on a DDP board. When the general discussion is about how far in advance a DDP user needs to make ADRs so they can be sure they will get to use their TS credits that they paid for in the way they want to use them, how do you think it helps one iota to come on here and say, in effect, we don't use the DDP and don't eat TS that often but we never have a problem getting last-minute ADRs because we stay on concierge floors? IMO the DDP board is more about "helping" (helping people decide whether or not to get the DDP, how to understand it, how best to use it, etc.) than maybe some of the other boards on the DIS. So think before you post, and try to be helpful when you do.

Katiebell
06-08-2007, 01:30 AM
So are you saying because my family and I stay on a Club Level floor we should feel guilty about how we got some of our ADR's, because others plan them months in advance? The service of getting some of our ADR's at the last minute on the Club Levels is available to all guests staying there if they feel like adding extra ADR's, and I am sure we are not the 1st ones to take advantage of that.

I didn't read any implication that you should feel guilty about it. But I did understand that because your family is fortunate enough to afford that level of service, that's great, but not that many people can or are willing to pay for that. And it is extremely unrealistic for anyone, whether on the DDP or not, to expect that they can just walk in to TS restaurants -- to suggest or imply that is the norm is giving very bad advice, and they could end up extremely disappointed. Yes, they might have luck, with the less popular places in particular, or if they are very flexible on times. But why take the chance? :confused3 Especially if you have a couple of restaurants that are your favorites and you know you don't want to miss them. Or if you know you'll be at a park on a particular day because of EMH, why not plan an ADR at or near that park? If plans change you can always cancel, it's not that hard.

And I don't know what the future may hold for you, but...there were a lot of things my parents could afford when I was growing up, but it's taken me years to get to the point where I have the same level of disposable income they had (not even sure if I'm there yet!) But once I was out on my own, things cost a lot and I was on a lot tighter budget for years and couldn't afford the same kinds of luxuries. Even now on our trip in May, DH and I stayed at a value resort and got the DDP because we were trying to stay within a realistic budget for our trip, and didn't want to put it on credit. YMMV...

ha1264
06-08-2007, 04:30 PM
Can someone explain to me what the concierge club level thing is all about. Thanks.

dannyh23
06-08-2007, 04:44 PM
Can someone explain to me what the concierge club level thing is all about. Thanks.

In summary, Pay big money (more than a normal Disney room) and get "free" snacks in a lounge, and CM's help you make ADR's. Just like the DDP, some think it's worth it, others think it's not.

TDC Nala
06-10-2007, 11:16 AM
In summary, Pay big money (more than a normal Disney room) and get "free" snacks in a lounge, and CM's help you make ADR's. Just like the DDP, some think it's worth it, others think it's not.

At more detail, it's an extra level of service offered at most of the deluxe resorts. Sometimes a bigger room is part of the deal. For a premium price guests get access to a "lounge" where snacks and drinks are served at various times during the day, and a private concierge desk where they can get their requests taken care of without having to wait in line at the front desk.

Sometimes the concierge level is able to handle getting reservations for popular meals when they can't be gotten through WDW Dining.